verb (used with object)
to twist, bend, or draw out of shape; distort.
verb (used without object)
to become twisted, distorted, or strained: His face contorted into a grotesque sneer.

1555–65; < Latin contortus twisted together, past participle of contorquēre. See con-, tort Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
contort (kənˈtɔːt)
to twist or bend severely out of place or shape, esp in a strained manner
[C15: from Latin contortus intricate, obscure, from contorquēre to whirl around, from torquēre to twist, wrench]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1622, from L. contortus, prp. of contorquere "to whirl, twist," from com- "together" + torquere "to twist" (see thwart). Related: Contorted (pp. adj., 1620s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The fact that it is possible to so contort a plant is no justification for doing it.
Rolfers gouge with knuckles and knead with fists, contort limbs and lean into elbows to loosen tendons and ligaments.
After watching the party contort its policies and its principles, voters concluded it was not such a good idea.
But you can't contort your way through the back door, which is basically what they are trying to do.
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