con·tort | \ kən-ˈtȯrt \
contorted; contorting; contorts

Definition of contort 

transitive verb

: to twist in a violent manner features contorted with fury

intransitive verb

: to twist into or as if into a strained shape or expression His face contorted in a grimace of pain.

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Other words from contort

contortion \kən-ˈtȯr-shən \ noun
contortive \kən-ˈtȯr-tiv \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for contort

deform, distort, contort, warp means to mar or spoil by or as if by twisting. deform may imply a change of shape through stress, injury, or accident of growth. a face deformed by hatred distort and contort both imply a wrenching from the natural or normal, but contort suggests a more involved twisting and a more grotesque and painful result. the odd camera angle distorts the figure disease had contorted her body warp indicates an uneven shrinking that bends or twists out of a flat plane. warped floorboards

Did You Know?

Circus contortionists are known for twisting their bodies into pretzels; such contortions tend to be easier for females than for males, and much easier for the young than for the old. When trying to say something uncomfortable or dishonest, people often go through verbal contortions. But when someone else "twists" something you said or did, we usually say instead that they've distorted it.

Examples of contort in a Sentence

His body contorted with pain. The boy contorted his body to squeeze through the gate. Her face was contorted with rage.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The engine is mounted with three pivot points, allowing the chassis to contort over rough roads. Casey Williams,, "Driving the Ford Model T through 110 years of American audacity," 3 July 2018 Yet there was Neymar, taking a split second to realize his opportunity, unleash that now-famous scream, then follow it up with a writhing, contorting, pounding-the-turf response worthy of Hollywood. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "For all his talent, Neymar is an embarrassment to soccer," 2 July 2018 Like Vigran, her affable personality helps in the somewhat stressful discipline of twisting, contorting, then entering the water in perfect symmetrical fashion. Scott Springer,, "Mariemont, Indian Hill, Turpin divers dip into creative pursuits inside, outside pool," 11 Jan. 2018 This allows you the option for the dryer to be totally heatless on an endless range of blow-dry speeds — without having to contort your finger to hold down the cold shot button. Rebecca Norris, Allure, "The "Heatless" Blow-Dryer From Hai Beauty Concepts That Dried My Hair in 10 Minutes," 15 June 2018 In other words, rather than contorting itself to accommodate our Age of Distraction, baseball should provide a sanctuary from a culture that needs to slow down. Samantha Power,, "How baseball will survive in the age of distraction," 30 Apr. 2018 Throughout the video, Gambino and the school children are the lone people untouched, dancing with the history of Jim Crow alive in their feet, contorting and romping, faces plastered with sly, elastic grins. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' and the New Shape of Protest Music," 9 May 2018 People magazine labeled him one of its hottest young comics for his act, which not only showcased voice work but utilized the performer’s ability to contort his face to match the character. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Jim Carrey is getting political with artwork but it's far from the first time he's reinvented himself," 6 June 2018 As a shirtless Glover twists and contorts his body in exaggerated, sometimes humorous ways in the video's foreground, mayhem runs rampant in the background. Candace Mcduffie, Glamour, "Let's Acknowledge the Artists That Paved the Way for Donald Glover's 'This Is America'," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contort.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contort

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for contort

Middle English, from Latin contortus, past participle of contorquēre, from com- + torquēre to twist — more at torture entry 1

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Learn More about contort

Statistics for contort

Last Updated

25 Jul 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contort

The first known use of contort was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for contort



English Language Learners Definition of contort

: to twist into an unusual appearance or shape


con·tort | \ kən-ˈtȯrt \
contorted; contorting

Kids Definition of contort

: to give an unusual appearance or unnatural shape to by twisting His face contorted with anger.

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