verb (used with object)
to combine, as two or more strands or threads, by winding together; intertwine.
to form by or as if by winding strands together: Several fibers were used to twist the rope.
to entwine (one thing) with another; interlace (something) with something else; interweave; plait.
to wind or coil (something) about something else; encircle; entwine; wreathe.
to alter in shape, as by turning the ends in opposite directions, so that parts previously in the same straight line and plane are located in a spiral curve: The sculptor twisted the form into an arabesque. He twisted his body around to look behind him.
to turn sharply or wrench out of place; sprain: He twisted his ankle.
to pull, tear, or break off by turning forcibly: He twisted the arm off the puppet.
to distort (the features) by tensing or contracting the facial muscles; contort: She twisted her face in a wry smile.
to distort the meaning or form of; pervert: He twisted my comment about to suit his own purpose.
to cause to become mentally or emotionally distorted; warp: The loss of his business twisted his whole outlook on life.
to form into a coil, knot, or the like by winding, rolling, etc.: to twist the hair into a knot.
to bend tortuously.
to cause to move with a rotary motion, as a ball pitched in a curve.
to turn (something) from one direction to another, as by rotating or revolving: I twisted my chair to face the window.
to combine or associate intimately.
verb (used without object)
to be or become intertwined.
to wind or twine about something.
to writhe or squirm.
to take a spiral form or course; wind, curve, or bend.
to turn or rotate, as on an axis; revolve, as about something; spin.
to turn so as to face in another direction.
to turn, coil, or bend into a spiral shape.
to change shape under forcible turning or twisting.
to move with a progressive rotary motion, as a ball pitched in a curve.
to dance the twist.
a deviation in direction; curve; bend; turn.
the action of turning or rotating on an axis; rotary motion; spin.
anything formed by or as if by twisting or twining parts together.
the act or process of twining strands together, as in thread, yarn, or rope.
a twisting awry or askew.
distortion or perversion, as of meaning or form.
a peculiar attitude or bias; eccentric turn or bent of mind; eccentricity.
spiral disposition, arrangement, or form.
spiral movement or course.
an irregular bend; crook; kink.
a sudden, unanticipated change of course, as of events.
a treatment, method, idea, version, etc., especially one differing from that which preceded: The screenwriters gave the old plot a new twist.
the changing of the shape of anything by or as by turning the ends in opposite directions.
the stress causing this alteration; torque.
the resulting state.
a twisting or torsional action, force, or stress; torsion.
a strong, twisted silk thread, heavier than ordinary sewing silk, for working buttonholes and for other purposes.
the direction of twisting in weaving yarn; S twist or Z twist.
a loaf or roll of dough twisted and baked.
a strip of citrus peel that has been twisted and placed in a drink to add flavor.
a kind of tobacco manufactured in the form of a rope or thick cord.
a dance performed by couples and characterized by strongly rhythmic turns and twists of the arms, legs, and torso.
the degree of spiral formed by the grooves in a rifled firearm or cannon.
Gymnastics, Diving. a full rotation of the body about the vertical axis.
a wrench.
twist one's arm, Informal. to coerce: I didn't want to go, but he twisted my arm.

1300–50; Middle English twisten to divide, derivative of twist divided object, rope (compare Old English -twist in candel-twist pair of snuffers); cognate with Dutch twisten to quarrel, German Zwist a quarrel. See twi-

twistable, adjective
twistability, noun
twistedly, adverb
twistingly, adverb
overtwist, verb
retwist, verb
untwistable, adjective

7. wrench, wrest, yank. 32. See turn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To twist
World English Dictionary
twist (twɪst)
1.  to cause (one end or part) to turn or (of one end or part) to turn in the opposite direction from another; coil or spin
2.  to distort or be distorted; change in shape
3.  to wind or cause to wind; twine, coil, or intertwine: to twist flowers into a wreath
4.  to force or be forced out of the natural form or position: to twist one's ankle
5.  (usually passive) to change or cause to change for the worse in character, meaning, etc; pervert: his ideas are twisted; she twisted the statement
6.  to revolve or cause to revolve; rotate
7.  (tr) to wrench with a turning action: to twist something from someone's grasp
8.  (intr) to follow a winding course
9.  (intr) to squirm, as with pain
10.  (intr) to dance the twist
11.  informal (Brit) (tr) to cheat; swindle
12.  twist someone's arm to persuade or coerce someone
13.  the act or an instance of twisting
14.  something formed by or as if by twisting: a twist of hair
15.  a decisive change of direction, aim, meaning, or character
16.  (in a novel, play, etc) an unexpected event, revelation, or other development
17.  a bend: a twist in the road
18.  a distortion of the original or natural shape or form
19.  a jerky pull, wrench, or turn
20.  a strange personal characteristic, esp a bad one
21.  a confused mess, tangle, or knot made by twisting
22.  a twisted thread used in sewing where extra strength is needed
23.  (in weaving) a specified direction of twisting the yarn
24.  the twist a modern dance popular in the 1960s, in which couples vigorously twist the hips in time to rhythmic music
25.  a bread loaf or roll made of one or more pieces of twisted dough
26.  a thin sliver of peel from a lemon, lime, etc, twisted and added to a drink
27.  a.  a cigar made by twisting three cigars around one another
 b.  chewing tobacco made in the form of a roll by twisting the leaves together
28.  physics torsional deformation or shear stress or strain
29.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) sport spin given to a ball in various games, esp baseball
30.  the extent to which the grooves in the bore of a rifled firearm are spiralled
31.  slang (Brit) round the twist mad; eccentric
[Old English; related to German dialect Zwist a quarrel, Dutch twisten to quarrel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1350, "flat part of a hinge," probably from O.E. -twist (in mæsttwist "mast rope, stay;" candeltwist "wick"), from P.Gmc. '*twis-, from root of two. Original senses suggest "dividing in two" (cf. cognate O.N. tvistra "to divide, separate," Goth. twis- "in two, asunder,"
Du. twist, Ger. zwist "quarrel, discord," though these senes have no equivalent in Eng.), but later ones are of "combining two into one," hence the original sense of the word may be "rope made of two strands." Meaning "thread or cord composed of two or more fibers" is recorded from 1555. Meaning "act or action of turning on an axis" is attested from 1576. Sense of "beverage consisting of two or more liquors" is first attested c.1700. Meaning "thick cord of tobacco" is from 1791. Meaning "curled piece of lemon, etc., used to flavor a drink" is recorded from 1958. Sense of "unexpected plot development" is from 1941. The popular rock 'n' roll dance craze is from 1961, but twist was used to describe popular dances in 1894 and again in the 1920s. To get one's knickers in a twist "be unduly agitated" is British slang first attested 1971.

early 14c. (implied in p.t. twaste), "to wring," from the source of twist (n.). Sense of "to spin two or more strands of yarn into thread" is attested from late 15c. Meaning "to move in a winding fashion" is recorded from 1630s. To twist the lion's tail was U.S. slang (1895)
for "to provoke British feeling."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


vigorous dance that developed in the early 1960s in the United States and became internationally popular after its adoption in fashionable circles. The twist's characteristic hip, arm, and leg movements have been described as "drying the buttocks with an imaginary towel while grinding out an imaginary cigarette with one foot." Partners synchronized body positions and gyrations but never touched. Dances that evolved from the twist-for example, the frug and the watusi-were invariably performed by shaking the pelvis. In these dances partners only sometimes coordinated their movements. Among the suggested precursors of the twist are included the shimmy and the black bottom, and a song that was popular before 1910 included the lines "Mama, mama, where is sis? / Down on the levee doin' the double twis'."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Leafstalks twist and curl to hold plant to its support.
But in a twist of state politics, his influence over the campuses could
  actually decline.
They are about to get thinner still, but with a new twist.
Putting a twist on fundamental physics, a new study predicts what happens to
  planets when a star explodes.
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