What does tortuous mean?

Definitions for tortuous
ˈtɔr tʃu əstor·tu·ous

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tortuous.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Byzantine, convoluted, involved, knotty, tangled, tortuousadjective

    highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious

    "the Byzantine tax structure"; "Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship"; "convoluted legal language"; "convoluted reasoning"; "the plot was too involved"; "a knotty problem"; "got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering"; "Oh, what a tangled web we weave"- Sir Walter Scott; "tortuous legal procedures"; "tortuous negotiations lasting for months"

  2. tortuous, twisting, twisty, winding, voluminousadjective

    marked by repeated turns and bends

    "a tortuous road up the mountain"; "winding roads are full of surprises"; "had to steer the car down a twisty track"

  3. tortuousadjective

    not straightforward

    "his tortuous reasoning"


  1. tortuousadjective

    Twisted; having many turns; convoluted.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tortuousadjective

    Etymology: tortueux, Fr. from tortuosus, tortus, Lat.

    So vary’d he, and of his tortuous train
    Curl’d many a wanton wreath. John Milton.

    Aqueous vapours, like a dry wind, pass through so long and tortuous a pipe of lead. Boyle.

    Ne ought he car’d whom he endamaged
    By tortuous wrong, or whom bereav’d of right. Fa. Qu.


  1. tortuous

    Tortuous refers to something that is extremely complex, twisted or winding, often in a misleading or indirect manner. It can be used to describe anything from a physical path or route to an argument, process, or method that is complicated and hard to follow. The term can also refer to a situation or condition that involves many confusing changes or difficulties.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tortuousadjective

    bent in different directions; wreathed; twisted; winding; as, a tortuous train; a tortuous train; a tortuous leaf or corolla

  2. Tortuousadjective

    fig.: Deviating from rectitude; indirect; erroneous; deceitful

  3. Tortuousadjective

    injurious: tortious

  4. Tortuousadjective

    oblique; -- applied to the six signs of the zodiac (from Capricorn to Gemini) which ascend most rapidly and obliquely

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tortuous

    tor′tū-us, adj. twisted, winding: (fig.) deceitful.—adj. Tor′tuōse, twisted: wreathed: winding.—n. Tortuos′ity, state of being tortuous.—adv. Tor′tuously.—n. Tor′tuousness. [Fr.,—L. tortuosustorquēre, tortum, to twist.]

Suggested Resources

  1. Tortuous

    Torturous vs. Tortuous -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Torturous and Tortuous.


  1. Tortuous

    = Tortuose.

How to pronounce tortuous?

How to say tortuous in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tortuous in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tortuous in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of tortuous in a Sentence

  1. Karen Bass:

    I think when people witnessed the really slow, tortuous murder of George Floyd, it was just not up for debate, i think the American people were horrified.

  2. Jared Polis:

    Colorado has joined a growing list of states that have banned so-called conversion therapy, it's a tortuous practice that has long been widely-discredited by medical and mental health professionals.

  3. Antonio Zappulla:

    No one can begin to imagine what Nazanin has endured throughout the past tortuous six years; denied her freedoms, separated from her husband and young child, battling significant illness, thrown in solitary confinement, an innocent victim of an international dispute, Nazanin has been one of many used as political pawns. Her treatment has been utterly inhumane.

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Translations for tortuous

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"tortuous." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tortuous>.

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