Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "third degree" []

  • Mental or physical torture used to obtain information or a confession from a prisoner. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "third degree" in a sentence
  • "Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o 'my coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's drowned: go, look after him."
  • "I mention this because yesterday some one who'd run across you at Yemassee told me that you and Helen were exchanging the grip of the third degree under the breakfast-table, and trying to eat your eggs with your left hands."
  • "The greatest of them are excesses and insolences of youth, and are offences against the greatest when they are done against religion; and especially great when in violation of public and holy rites, or of the partly – common rites in which tribes and phratries share; and in the second degree great when they are committed against private rites and sepulchres, and in the third degree (not to repeat the acts formerly mentioned), when insults are offered to parents; the fourth kind of violence is when any one, regardless of the authority of the rulers, takes or carries away or makes use of anything which belongs to them, not having their consent; and the fifth kind is when the violation of the civil rights of an individual demands reparation."