Etymology
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wring (v.)
Old English wringan "press, strain, wring, twist" (class III strong verb; past tense wrang, past participle wrungen), from Proto-Germanic *wreng- (source also of Old English wringen "to wring, press out," Old Frisian wringa, Middle Dutch wringhen, Dutch wringen "to wring," Old High German ringan "to move to and fro, to twist," German ringen "to wrestle"), from *wrengh-, nasalized variant of *wergh- "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." To wring (one's) hands "press the hands or fingers tightly together (as though wringing)" as an indication of distress or pain is attested from c. 1200.
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wringer (n.)
"device for squeezing water from clothes," 1799, agent noun from wring (v.). (Earlier it meant "extortioner," c. 1300.) Figurative phrase to put (someone) through the wringer first recorded 1942, American English.
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*wer- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root forming words meaning "to turn, bend."

It forms all or part of: adverse; anniversary; avert; awry; controversy; converge; converse (adj.) "exact opposite;" convert; diverge; divert; evert; extroversion; extrovert; gaiter; introrse; introvert; invert; inward; malversation; obverse; peevish; pervert; prose; raphe; reverberate; revert; rhabdomancy; rhapsody; rhombus; ribald; sinistrorse; stalwart; subvert; tergiversate; transverse; universe; verbena; verge (v.1) "tend, incline;" vermeil; vermicelli; vermicular; vermiform; vermin; versatile; verse (n.) "poetry;" version; verst; versus; vertebra; vertex; vertigo; vervain; vortex; -ward; warp; weird; worm; worry; worth (adj.) "significant, valuable, of value;" worth (v.) "to come to be;" wrangle; wrap; wrath; wreath; wrench; wrest; wrestle; wriggle; wring; wrinkle; wrist; writhe; wrong; wroth; wry.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vartate "turns round, rolls;" Avestan varet- "to turn;" Hittite hurki- "wheel;" Greek rhatane "stirrer, ladle;" Latin vertere (frequentative versare) "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed," versus "turned toward or against;" Old Church Slavonic vrŭteti "to turn, roll," Russian vreteno "spindle, distaff;" Lithuanian verčiu, versti "to turn;" German werden, Old English weorðan "to become;" Old English -weard "toward," originally "turned toward," weorthan "to befall," wyrd "fate, destiny," literally "what befalls one;" Welsh gwerthyd "spindle, distaff;" Old Irish frith "against."

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tortuous (adj.)
late 14c., "full of twists and turns," from Anglo-French tortuous (12c.), Old French tortuos, from Latin tortuosus "full of twists, winding," from tortus "a twisting, winding," from stem of torquere "to twist, wring, distort" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist"). Related: Tortuously; tortuousness.
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tort (n.)
mid-13c., "injury, wrong," from Old French tort "wrong, injustice, crime" (11c.), from Medieval Latin tortum "injustice," noun use of neuter of tortus "wrung, twisted," past participle of Latin torquere "turn, turn awry, twist, wring, distort" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist"). Legal sense of "breach of a duty, whereby someone acquires a right of action for damages" is first recorded 1580s.
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twist (v.)
c. 1200 (implied in past tense form twaste), "to wring," from twist (n.). Sense of "to spin two or more strands of yarn into thread" is attested from late 15c. Meaning "to move in a winding fashion" is recorded from 1630s. To twist the lion's tail was U.S. slang (1895) for "to provoke British feeling" (the lion being the symbol of Britain). To twist (someone's) arm in the figurative sense of "pressure (to do something)" is from 1945. Related: Twisted; twisting.
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wrench (v.)
Old English wrencan "to twist," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (source also of Old High German renken, German renken "to twist, wrench," Old English wringan "to wring"), from PIE *wreng- "to turn" (source also of Sanskrit vrnakti "turns, twists," Lithuanian rengtis "to grow crooked, to writhe"), nasalized variant of *werg- "to turn" (source also of Latin vergere "to turn, tend toward"), from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." Related: Wrenched, wrenching.
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torture (n.)
early 15c., "contortion, twisting, distortion; a disorder characterized by contortion," from Old French torture "infliction of great pain; great pain, agony" (12c.), and directly from Late Latin tortura "a twisting, writhing," in Medieval Latin "pain inflicted by judicial or ecclesiastical authority as a means of punishment or persuasion," from stem of Latin torquere "to twist, turn, wind, wring, distort" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist").

The meaning "infliction of severe bodily pain as a means of punishment or persuasion" in English is from 1550s. The theory behind judicial torture was that a guilty person could be made to confess, but an innocent one could not, by this means. Macaulay writes that it was last inflicted in England in May 1640.
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