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[kuh n-tawr-shuh n] /kənˈtɔr ʃən/
the act or process of contorting.
the state of being contorted.
a contorted position.
something contorted or twisted, as in position or meaning:
His account of the incident was a complete contortion of fact.
1605-15; < Latin contortiōn- (stem of contortiō) a whirling around. See contort, -ion
Related forms
contortional, adjective
contortioned, adjective
uncontortioned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contortions
  • But the reward of these contortions is witnessing a vast watery underworld, some of which still remains unmapped.
  • It then launches into a series of strange contortions.
  • To their astonishment, one captured frog after another had five or more hind legs, some twisted in macabre contortions.
  • Sometimes the contortions required to maintain this fiction are hilarious.
  • That's because, despite our annual budget contortions, many community colleges are remarkably advanced technologically.
  • Learning how to negotiate those contortions is the trick.
  • It has all the contortions of the sibyl without the inspiration.
  • Yes, one of those priestly cowls hid the contortions of the damned.
  • But it also revealed as useless the mathematical contortions of academic economics.
  • As you go through the contortions to get to and from each one, you miss out on so much else.
British Dictionary definitions for contortions


the act or process of contorting or the state of being contorted
a twisted shape or position
something twisted or out of the ordinary in character, meaning, etc: mental contortions
Derived Forms
contortional, adjective
contortioned, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contortions



early 15c., from Middle French contorsion or directly from Latin contortionem (nominative contorsio), noun of action from past participle stem of contorquere (see contort).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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