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1

retort

play
verb re·tort \ri-ˈtȯrt\

Definition of retort

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to pay or hurl back :  return <retort an insult>

  3. 2 a :  to make a reply to b :  to say in reply

  4. 3 :  to answer (as an argument) by a counter argument

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to answer back usually sharply

  7. 2 :  to return an argument or charge

  8. 3 :  retaliate



Origin and Etymology of retort

Latin retortus, past participle of retorquēre, literally, to twist back, hurl back, from re- + torquēre to twist — more at torture


First Known Use: circa 1557


2

retort

noun re·tort

Definition of retort

  1. :  a quick, witty, or cutting reply; especially :  one that turns back or counters the first speaker's words



1600

First Known Use of retort

1600

Synonym Discussion of retort

answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort mean something spoken, written, or done in return. answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need <had answers to all their questions>. response may imply a quick or spontaneous reaction to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus <a response to the call for recruits>. reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised <a point-by-point reply to the accusation>. rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection <a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argument>. retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack <she made a cutting retort to her critics>.

3

retort

play
noun re·tort \ri-ˈtȯrt, ˈrē-ˌ\

Definition of retort

  1. :  a vessel or chamber in which substances are distilled or decomposed by heat



Illustration of retort

Origin and Etymology of retort

Middle French retorte, from Medieval Latin retorta, from Latin, feminine of retortus; from its shape


First Known Use: 1605

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


4

retort

play
verb re·tort \ri-ˈtȯrt, ˈrē-ˌ\

Definition of retort

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to treat (as oil shale) by heating in a retort



1850

First Known Use of retort

1850

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


RETORT Defined for Kids

1

retort

play
verb re·tort \ri-ˈtȯrt\

Definition of retort for Students

retorted

retorting

  1. 1 :  to reply usually angrily or sharply

  2. 2 :  to reply with an argument against <When Mom objected to ice cream as unhealthy, I retorted that it contained milk.>




2

retort

play
noun re·tort

Definition of retort for Students

  1. :  a quick, clever, or angry reply



Word Root of retort

The Latin word torquēre, meaning “to twist,” and its form tortus give us the root tort. Words from the Latin torquēre have something to do with twisting. A retort, or angry reply to another's words, twists those words back at the person. To contort is to twist the body in unusual ways. To distort is to twist something, such as the truth, so much that it appears to be something else.


Medical Dictionary

retort

play play
noun re·tort \ri-ˈtȯ(ə)rt, ˈrē-ˌ\

Medical Definition of retort

  1. :  a vessel or chamber in which substances are distilled or decomposed by heat





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