Updated: 3 days ago

Pronunciation: [ tawr-choo-uhs ]

Origin: Late Middle English; Latin

Etymology: via Old French from Latin tortuosus, from tortus ‘twisting, a twist’, from Latin torquere ‘to twist’


1. (adjective) full of twists, turns, or bends; twisting, winding, or crooked

Synonym(s): twisting, winding, curving, bending, coiling

Antonym(s): straight, direct

Example: The group took a tortuous path to the lookout.

2. (adjective) deceitfully indirect or morally crooked, as proceedings, methods, or policy; devious

Synonym(s): deceitful, crooked, misleading

Antonym(s): straightforward, uncomplicated, untwisted

Example: His behavior was incredibly tortuous.


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