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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Pinch tops together and gently twist into 1 rope; pinch ends together to make circle. Erin Phraner, Good Housekeeping, "Give This Traditional Easter Bread a Sweet and Colorful Update," 28 Feb. 2019 And when a person hits their head hard, the brain can bounce around and twist in the skull. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 More: Out of the cave, onto the big screen: Hollywood taks on Thai rescue Expert divers guided each boy for several hours, navigating more than two miles of narrow, twisting, dark and dangerous labyrinth. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "How 100 heroes came together to rescue 12 boys and their coach from the Thailand cave," 11 July 2018 The Affordable Care Act’s twisted path through implementation, litigation, and reinterpretation. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Medicare for all is new Democratic mantra in congressional races," 9 July 2018 Bruno had twisted his knee during an arduous skiing trek through the mountains. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Helicopter Pulls Off Improbable Rescue Mission in the French Alps," 10 Jan. 2019 Simply twist a nozzle in one of the corners to add or remove air from the center, which is surrounded by memory foam and a machine washable cover. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "7 Best Memory Foam Pillows You Can Buy," 21 Dec. 2018 Beyond those basic formations, the drone can also twist into a variety of asymmetrical shapes. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "A shape-shifting drone suggests the future of rescue missions," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The food at Mattie's at Green Pastures in Austin, Texas is Southern fare with modern twists on classic cocktails. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Sprawling House In Texas Now Houses A Gorgeous Restaurant," 20 Nov. 2018 Another way to achieve bigger hair is with two-strand twists. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "Lace Frontier: A Beginner's Guide to the World of Wigs," 10 Sep. 2018 Southern food lovers will recognize the basics of dishes from the region’s vernacular, but with captivating twists. Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Atlanta," 23 Aug. 2018 The film builds to a climax with unusual twists to the story regarding new facts that Hania learns about her years in hiding during the Holocaust. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Jewish-themed films to be screened in Palm Beach County," 28 June 2018 In the General Assembly, the confrontation over Gaza, reflecting decades-old divisions between Israel and the Palestinians, played out with a few new twists. Washington Post, "UN Assembly blames Israel for Gaza violence, but not Hamas," 13 June 2018 For the Miami Herald For 25 years and counting, Chef Creole provides tastes of the Caribbean Name:Chef Creole Restaurants: Chef Creole, fresh Haitian Creole with Bahamian twists. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, "The odds are stacked against success stories like these," 10 June 2018 As is nearly always the case with devastating sports twists, the Internet couldn’t resist making a meme out of the moment. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Everyone Wins Thanks to LeBron James's Game-Changing Reaction to J.R. Smith's NBA Finals Mistake," 1 June 2018 In a complementary follow up, the renegade visionary then put a subversive twist on the Ashish show, splashing different vivid hues of glitter on the brows, lids, and lips. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "5 Beauty Trends That Swept the London Runways This Week," 20 Feb. 2019

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.

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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-

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Statistics for twist

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for twist

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

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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

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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

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