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

Her own coat was old, the buttons twisted in the traditional Chinese sense, something that seemed old-fashioned beside these rich young women’s Western fashions. Veronica Chambers, New York Times, "Viewfinders: 10 Y.A. Novelists Spin Fiction From Vintage Photos," 28 June 2019 But the songs turn and twist in surprising ways, and the singer undercuts his every rebellious slogan with confessions about his own complicity. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Political Punk Rock That Protests Its Own Singer," 21 June 2019 And in a third poster, featuring Captain America solo, Evans is twisted in a pose that exposes America’s glutes to full effect. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The enduring legacy and fantasy of Captain America’s beard, explained," 18 June 2019 These fibers make boards twist in unpredictable ways. Washington Post, "This is what happens when someone slaps veneer on a century-old wood door," 17 June 2019 Phuc ran screaming from the flames, her face twisted in pain and fear. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Vietnam War's 'napalm girl' finds hope and meaning as peace activist," 6 June 2019 Now, almost a decade later, that personal history comes full circle with En’s debut collection, in which classic jewelry tropes are subtly twisted through the duo’s distinctive lens. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "This Design Duo Is Crafting Heirlooms for a New Generation of Jewelry Obsessives," 1 Apr. 2019 What’s more, after twelve years of ownership by private equity firm Cerberus, including an IPO filing that was twisting in the wind, Albertsons had to do something. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Albertsons Might Be Buying a Lemon in Rite Aid," 20 Feb. 2018 The ribbon got twisted, and no one thought to straighten it out. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Around the corner from Ross’ cheetahs, lions and elephants, another booth shows an array of animal works — with a twist. Faith E. Pinho, latimes.com, "Laguna Art-A-Fair welcomes new and familiar faces to opening day Friday," 27 June 2019 Commonwealth Indian focuses mostly on the food of the north, sometimes with a twist, almost always with a flourish. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Commonwealth Indian is dressed to thrill in Rockville," 26 June 2019 Substack lets anyone create a free newsletter (similarly to Mailchimp or Revue) but with a twist. Khe Hy, Quartz at Work, "Five “creator” apps that have captured Silicon Valley’s attention," 19 June 2019 Before your guests arrive, practice mixing a martini just the way Sinatra liked it: three ounces of Beefeater gin with just a kiss of dry vermouth, served on the rocks with a twist of lemon. Heather Corcoran, ELLE Decor, "How to Bring Old Hollywood Into Your Home," 19 Mar. 2019 In New Hartford, Brewery Legitimus and Barden Farm are teaming up for the second summer to offer a farm share with a twist. Camila Vallejo, courant.com, "A CSA With Beer And Cheese," 14 June 2019 Rachel Goclawski needed extra money a few years ago, so the Millbury resident started teaching cooking classes for children — with a twist. Elana Varon, BostonGlobe.com, "How to turn your hobby into a side hustle," 14 June 2019 Muskego Fourth of July festivities are a day early and with a twist in Muskego. Jennifer Whidden, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's everything you need to know for 4th of July in Milwaukee and the suburbs," 13 June 2019 The furnishings were also very much the style of the time, but with a modern twist. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Best Room Wins," 7 June 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

4 Jul 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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