twist

verb
\ ˈtwist How to pronounce twist (audio) \
twisted; twisting; twists

Definition of twist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to unite by winding twisting strands together
b : to make by twisting strands together twist thread from yarn
c : to mingle by interlacing
2 : twine, coil
3a : to wring or wrench so as to dislocate or distort especially : sprain twisted my ankle
b : to alter the meaning of : distort, pervert twisted the facts
c : contort twisted his face into a grin
d : to pull off, turn, or break by torsion twist the nut off the bolt
e : to cause to move with a turning motion twisted her chair to face the fire
f : to form into a spiral shape
g : to cause to take on moral, mental, or emotional deformity celebrity has twisted their sense of decorum
h : to make (one's way) in a winding or devious manner to a destination or objective

intransitive verb

1 : to follow a winding course : snake
2a : to turn or change shape under torsion
b : to assume a spiral shape
c : squirm, writhe
d : to dance the twist
3 of a ball : to rotate while taking a curving path or direction
4 : turn sense 3a twisted around to see behind him
twist in the wind
: to be left to face a difficult situation without support or help
twist one's arm
: to bring strong pressure to bear on one

twist

noun

Definition of twist (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act of twisting : the state of being twisted
b : a dance performed with strenuous gyrations especially of the hips
c : the spin given the ball in any of various games
d : a spiral turn or curve
e(1) : torque or torsional stress applied to a body (such as a rod or shaft)
(2) : torsional strain
(3) : the angle through which a thing is twisted
2a : a turning off a straight course
c : a distortion of meaning or sense
3a : an unexpected turn or development weird twists of fate— W. L. Shirer
b : a clever device : trick questions demanding special twists of thinkingNew Yorker
c : a variant approach or method : gimmick a kind of twist on the old triangle theme— Dave Fedo
4 : something formed by twisting or winding: such as
a : a strip of citrus peel used to flavor a drink
b : a baked piece of twisted dough
c : a thread, yarn, or cord formed by twisting two or more strands together
d : a strong tightly twisted sewing silk
e : tobacco leaves twisted into a thick roll
5 : a front or back dive in which the diver twists sideways a half or full turn before entering the water

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from twist

Noun

twisty \ ˈtwi-​stē How to pronounce twisty (audio) \ adjective

Examples of twist in a Sentence

Verb

The toy can be twisted into different shapes. She twisted balloons into the shapes of different animals. The antenna was twisted out of shape. The car was a heap of twisted metal after the accident. He twists his lip into an odd expression when he's thinking. twist the dials on the radio The bottle cap twists off.

Noun

a simple twist of the wrist The jar should open with a twist of the lid. The road has some nasty twists. The coastal road had many twists and turns. It was a film noir with some clever twists. In an unusual twist, the police arrested one of their own. They were brought together by a strange twist of fate.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Crockford suggests focusing on exercises that keep the core stable and avoiding twisting movements to avoid exacerbating pain. Amy Marturana, SELF, "10 Core Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief," 9 Nov. 2018 If specific movements like twisting or bending or extending your spine feel uncomfortable, there may be mobility (flexibility) issues at play. Amy Marturana, SELF, "10 Core Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief," 9 Nov. 2018 Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. BostonGlobe.com, "How to remove a tick from your body," 7 May 2018 Or twist and search for a new goalkeeper to be entrusted with the number one shirt at Anfield. SI.com, "Sky Sports Pundit Insists That Liverpool 'Need a New Goalkeeper' Despite Loris Karius' Recent Form," 5 May 2018 And sometimes those journeys were twisted or dark or extreme. Salamishah Tillet, New York Times, "The Gladiators of ‘Scandal’ Leave the Arena," 12 Apr. 2018 While seated, most people shift into an awkward position that requires them to reach, twist or perform other abnormal movements. Tj Gibson, azcentral, "Ergonomically Correct," 10 Apr. 2018 But another huge mistake is twisting or hyperextending your back to propel and throw the snow off the shovel. Jacqueline Andriakos, Health.com, "7 Tips to Shovel Snow Safely and Efficiently (and Even Turn It Into a Workout)," 6 Feb. 2018 Catch the ball again, twisting back to the left and bending your left knee again to absorb the force of the ball. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here's What Functional Training Is and Why It's Important," 7 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The palette pulls from the 10 original eyeshadows that the brand launched with in 1998, alongside 10 new iterations given a modern twist. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Too Faced Is Making a 'Better Than Birthday Sex' Mascara for Its Anniversary," 1 Aug. 2018 To toast its milestone this year, Too Faced will also be amping up its original collection with a modern twist. Wendy Sy, Allure, "Too Faced and Drybar Want to Make Your Hair Sparkle With Their New Styling Spray," 25 July 2018 The Exchequer Opened in 2009, this award-winning gastropub specializes in serving comfort food with a modern twist. Sandra Ramani, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Brunch Places in Dublin," 11 July 2018 The announcement came by way of press release — a little old fashioned and with the modern twist — posted at 5:05 p.m. on the Twitter account of his agency, Klutch Sports Group. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "LeBron James' soft touch on Lakers move befitting of mature superstar," 1 July 2018 But unlike the previous defending champions to be eliminated this early, there was a modern twist to the German exit. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Germany Crashes Out of World Cup With a Loss to South Korea," 28 June 2018 And Usher, a journalism professor at George Washington University, has just published a new study on the gender disparity, which now exists with a modern twist. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Male Echo Chamber of Political Twitter," 26 June 2018 Leslie generally tends to favor vintage styles, sometimes with a slightly modern twist like a sheer fabric or bold color update, so her choice of wedding dress wasn’t out of character. refinery29.com, "Rose Leslie Chose A Wedding Gown Worthy Of A Castle," 23 June 2018 Based on the Newbery-winning book by Gail Carson Levine, this musical offers a modern twist on the Cinderella story. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "The Beatles add music to Orlando Rep's 2018-19 season," 11 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of twist

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for twist

Verb

Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch twisten, from twist twine, discord, quarrel; akin to Old English -twist (in candeltwist candlesnuffers, mæsttwist twin support for a mast), Middle English twisten to be forked, Middle High German zwist quarrel, Old English twi- twi-

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about twist

Statistics for twist

Last Updated

25 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for twist

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for twist

twist

verb

English Language Learners Definition of twist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bend or turn (something) in order to change its shape
: to bend or turn (something) into a shape or position that is not normal or natural
: to turn (something) in a circular motion with your hand

twist

noun

English Language Learners Definition of twist (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of turning or twisting
: a turn, curve, or bend in a road, river, etc.
: an unexpected or strange occurrence

twist

verb
\ ˈtwist How to pronounce twist (audio) \
twisted; twisting

Kids Definition of twist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to turn a part of the body around She twisted in her seat.
2 : to follow a winding course The path twisted between the trees.
3 : to form into an unnatural shape : contort The girl twists her face.
4 : to unite by winding one thread, strand, or wire around another
6 : to turn so as to sprain or hurt He twisted his ankle.
7 : to pull off, rotate, or break by a turning force You can twist a flower from its stem.
8 : to turn (something) in a circular motion with the hand Twist off the cap.
9 : to change the meaning of You're twisting my words; that's not what I meant.

twist

noun

Kids Definition of twist (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that has been turned upon itself, coiled, or rotated twists of rope
2 : an act of turning with force, coiling, or rotating : the state of being turned with force, coiled, or rotated
3 : a spiral turn or curve
4 : a turn or development that is both surprising and strange
5 : an act of changing the meaning

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on twist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for twist

Spanish Central: Translation of twist

Nglish: Translation of twist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of twist for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about twist

Comments on twist

What made you want to look up twist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!