twist

1 of 2

verb

twisted; twisting; twists

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
2
a
: to turn or change shape under torsion
b
: to assume a spiral shape
c
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

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
2
a
: a turning off a straight course
c
: a distortion of meaning or sense
3
a
: an unexpected turn or development
weird twists of fateW. 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 themeDave 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
twisty adjective
Phrases
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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Daisy Edgar-Jones has twisted out of the upcoming Carole King biopic. Samantha Bergeson, IndieWire, 10 July 2024 What has Trump done but lie, twist the truth and cause the deaths of many Americans by his mismanagement of the pandemic? Voice Of The People, New York Daily News, 10 July 2024
Noun
Best bites: The croissant garlic twist with peach marinara ($14) and the local burrata toast ($21) were great starters, but the true star of the night was the fish and chips ($34). Kathryn Varn, Axios, 12 July 2024 The original water canteen is available on Amazon and provides the same functionality, stainless steel design, 1.1-quart capacity, twist and pop top, and a removable carrying strap. Chaunie Brusie, Rn, Parents, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for twist 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'twist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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-

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near twist

Cite this Entry

“Twist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/twist. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

twist

1 of 2 verb
1
: to unite by winding one thread, strand, or wire around another
2
3
a
: to turn so as to sprain or hurt
twisted my ankle
b
: to change the meaning of
twisted the facts
c
: to pull off, rotate, or break by a turning force
twisted a small branch off the tree
4
: to follow a winding course

twist

2 of 2 noun
1
: a thread, yarn, or cord made by twisting two or more strands together
2
: an act of twisting : the state of being twisted
3
: a spiral turn or curve
4
: a strong personal tendency : bent
5
: a changing of meaning
6
: something (as a plan of action) that is both surprising and strange

More from Merriam-Webster on twist

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