break on the wheel

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break on the wheel

  1. (transitive) To fasten (a criminal etc.) to a wheel and break his limbs or beat him to death.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 270:
      Despite protesting his innocence under torture, the sexagenarian father was condemned by the Parlement in March 1762 to be broken on the wheel, a fate which he bore with stoical fortitude.