tortuous was our Word of the Day on 07/13/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of tortuous in a Sentence
a tortuous path up the mountain
a tortuous mountain road marked by numerous hairpin turns
Recent Examples of tortuous from the Web
At the end of this long, tortuous road stand the smoldering remains of the tower in North Kensington.
The ultra-fit (and often bare-chested) Bermudez — a Moonlight veteran who continues to grow in vocal power and technique — easily navigates the tortuous score and never misses a note.
The craft will reach its destination via a tortuous series of maneuvers, using the gravity of Venus to slow to a ‘
As the events of last year proved, impeaching a Brazilian president is a tortuous affair.
Fixing the hillside would mean replacing bulkheads that have rotted away along a riverbank blasted by side thrusters of the big ore boats that cruise around the tortuous curve.
Robinson's rap sheet shows a tortuous life of crime with 34 arrests and a dozen convictions — including four prior firearms convictions.
What many loyal readers of Mr. King see as the magnum opus of his career has had a tortuous road to the big screen.
Time and again, the movie strains for effect, favoring the tortuous over the plain.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tortuous'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Be careful not to confuse tortuous with torturous. These two words are relatives-both ultimately come from the Latin verb torquere, which means "to twist," "to wind," or "to wrench"-but tortuous means "winding" or "crooked," whereas torturous means "painfully unpleasant." Something tortuous (such as a twisting mountain road) might also be torturous (if, for example, you have to ride up that road on a bicycle), but that doesn't make these words synonyms. The twists and turns that mark a tortuous thing can be literal ("a tortuous path" or "a tortuous river") or figurative ("a tortuous argument" or "a tortuous explanation"), but you should consider choosing a different descriptive term if no implication of winding or crookedness is present.
Origin and Etymology of tortuous
Middle English, from Middle French tortueux, from Latin tortuosus, from tortus twist, from torquēre to twist
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
TORTUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tortuous for English Language Learners
: having many twists and turns
: complicated, long, and confusing
TORTUOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of tortuous for Students
: having many twists and turns a tortuous path
Seen and Heard
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