full of twists, turns, or bends; twisting, winding, or crooked: a tortuous path.
not direct or straightforward, as in procedure or speech; intricate; circuitous: tortuous negotiations lasting for months.
deceitfully indirect or morally crooked, as proceedings, methods, or policy; devious.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin tortuōsus, equivalent to tortu(s) a twisting (tor(quēre) to twist, bend + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ōsus -ous

tortuously, adverb
tortuousness, noun
nontortuous, adjective
nontortuously, adverb
untortuous, adjective
untortuously, adverb
untortuousness, noun

tortuous, torturous (see usage note at torturous).

1. bent, sinuous, serpentine. 2. evasive, roundabout, indirect.

See torturous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tortuous (ˈtɔːtjʊəs)
1.  twisted or winding: a tortuous road
2.  devious or cunning: a tortuous mind
3.  intricate

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

c.1391, from Anglo-Fr. tortuous (12c.), from L. tortuosus "full of twists, winding," from tortus "a twisting, winding," from stem of torquere "to twist, wring, distort" (see thwart).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tortuous tor·tu·ous (tôr'chōō-əs)
Having many turns; winding or twisting.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The calculations can be complicated by the tortuous accounting used to
  calculate the private-equity industry's returns.
Physically he had survived, but mentally he carried that tortuous ordeal until
  the day he died.
The pursuit turned out to be long and tortuous, leading at last to the vast
  forests of scholastic science.
The second has involved a tortuous row over imported second-hand cars.
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