con·​tor·​tion·​ist | \ kən-ˈtȯr-sh(ə-)nist How to pronounce contortionist (audio) \

Definition of contortionist

: one who contorts specifically : an acrobat able to twist the body into unusual postures

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Other Words from contortionist

contortionistic \ kən-​ˌtȯr-​shə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce contortionistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of contortionist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Reuse of disposable mesh gowns that cover Ms. Gundlach’s uniform requires the skills of a contortionist. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "A Nurse’s New Reality: Recycling Masks, Wiggling Out of Gowns, Calming Fears," 24 Mar. 2020 The ThermoPop provides fast, accurate readings, and the display can be rotated 360 degrees with the click of a button, so your guy doesn't have to be a contortionist in order to read the temperature of his meat. Anna Heyman, USA TODAY, "The 20 best Christmas gifts for dads and husbands," 29 Oct. 2019 Malatsi has been a contortionist and acrobat, and performed on the teeterboard and as a DJ, among other jobs on his way to the ringmaster’s mic. Cindy Dampier,, "‘Inside the tent, it’s one big party.’ Meet the UniverSoul Circus performers who’ve been wowing Chicago for generations," 5 Nov. 2019 The entertainment for the 330 guests included burlesque performers, a contortionist, a snake charmer, and a belly dancer with a live boa constrictor, as well as astrology, tarot card, and palm readings held in private nooks. Belathée, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kimmy Scotti and Adam Metzger's Halloween Wedding Was a Garden of Eden of Good & Evil," 31 Oct. 2019 Saturday shows will feature an all-female cast performing a type of hand balancing known as banquine; Sunday shows will feature a group of contortionists. Jay Jones, Los Angeles Times, "Cirque du Soleil’s ‘O’ to splash down in Bellagio Fountains," 23 Sep. 2019 Eliminated The four acts with the fewest votes – golden buzzer-winning rapper Joseph Allen, variety group Nick & Lindsay, contortionist Marina Mazepa and mentalist duo The Sentimentalists – were eliminated. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'America's Got Talent': Which 7 acts made it to the semifinals? Who was eliminated?," 21 Aug. 2019 But the scene stealer is the contortionist midway through the production. Dewayne Bevil,, "Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights: Opening night premieres more ‘Stranger Things,’ 2 new shows, crowd of costumes," 7 Sep. 2019 Imagine standing in the midst of human hieroglyphics, contortionists, gymnasts and acrobatic actors engaged in an organic origami of expression. Dasun Imanuel, Essence, "Street Dance Evolves From The Subway To Centerstage In The Powerful Performance 'Maze'," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contortionist.' 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 contortionist

1844, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for contortionist

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The first known use of contortionist was in 1844

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Statistics for contortionist

Last Updated

2 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contortionist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce contortionist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contortionist

: a performer who twists his or her body into unusual positions

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