Definitions for retortrɪˈtɔrt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word retort

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to reply to, usu. in a sharp or retaliatory way.

  2. to return (an accusation, epithet, etc.) upon the person uttering it.

  3. to answer (an argument or the like) by another to the contrary.

  4. (v.i.)to reply, esp. sharply.

  5. (n.)a severe, incisive, or witty reply, esp. one that counters a first speaker's statement, argument, etc.

  6. the act of retorting.

* Syn: See answer.

Origin of retort:

1590–1600; < L retortus, ptp. of retorquēre to bend back =re-re - +torquēre to twist, bend



  1. a vessel, usu. a glass bulb with a long neck bent downward, used for distilling or decomposing substances by heat. a refractory chamber in which a substance, as ore, is heated in smelting or manufacturing.

    Category: Chemistry

  2. a sterilizer for food cans.

    Category: Chemistry

  3. (v.t.)to sterilize (food) after it is sealed in a container, by steam or other heating methods.

    Category: Chemistry

  4. to subject (shale, ore, etc.) to heat and possibly reduced pressure, as to produce fuel oil or a metal.

    Category: Chemistry

Origin of retort:

1550–60; < MF retorte < ML retorta, n. use of fem. of L retortus; see retort1

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rejoinder, retort, return, riposte, replication, comeback, counter(noun)

    a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)

    "it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher"

  2. retort(verb)

    a vessel where substances are distilled or decomposed by heat

  3. retort, come back, repay, return, riposte, rejoin(verb)

    answer back


  1. retort(Noun)

    A sharp or witty reply, or one which turns an argument against its originator.

  2. retort(Noun)

    A flask with a rounded base and a long neck that is bent down and tapered, used to heat a liquid for distillation.

  3. retort(Noun)

    A container in which material is subjected to high temperatures as part of an industrial manufacturing process, especially during the smelting and forging of metal.

  4. retort(Verb)

    To say something sharp or witty in answer to a remark or accusation.

  5. retort(Verb)

    To make a remark which reverses an argument upon its originator.

  6. retort(Verb)

    To heat in a retort.

  7. Origin: Latin retorquere 'to be forced to twist back'; re- + -tort

Webster Dictionary

  1. Retort(noun)

    to bend or curve back; as, a retorted line

  2. Retort(noun)

    to throw back; to reverberate; to reflect

  3. Retort(noun)

    to return, as an argument, accusation, censure, or incivility; as, to retort the charge of vanity

  4. Retort(verb)

    to return an argument or a charge; to make a severe reply

  5. Retort(verb)

    the return of, or reply to, an argument, charge, censure, incivility, taunt, or witticism; a quick and witty or severe response

  6. Retort(verb)

    a vessel in which substances are subjected to distillation or decomposition by heat. It is made of different forms and materials for different uses, as a bulb of glass with a curved beak to enter a receiver for general chemical operations, or a cylinder or semicylinder of cast iron for the manufacture of gas in gas works


  1. Retort

    In a chemistry laboratory, a retort is a glassware device used for distillation or dry distillation of substances. It consists of a spherical vessel with a long downward-pointing neck. The liquid to be distilled is placed in the vessel and heated. The neck acts as a condenser, allowing the vapors to condense and flow along the neck to a collection vessel placed underneath. In the chemical industry, a retort is an airtight vessel in which substances are heated for a chemical reaction producing gaseous products to be collected in a collection vessel or for further processing. Such industrial-scale retorts are used in shale oil extraction and the production of charcoal. A process of heating oil shale to produce shale oil, shale gas, and spent shale is commonly called retorting. In the food industry, pressure cookers are often referred to as retorts, meaning "canning retorts".

Anagrams of retort

  1. rotter

Translations for retort

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


such a reply.

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