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[kuh n-tawrt] /kənˈtɔrt/
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contorting
  • They were contorting themselves and even lying on the floor to get the shot when he would hold a press conference.
  • Outside the second-floor studios children warm up by contorting their limbs in unnatural ways.
  • Nonprofits often find themselves contorting their activities and structures in order to secure grants.
British Dictionary definitions for contorting


to twist or bend severely out of place or shape, esp in a strained manner
Derived Forms
contortive, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin contortus intricate, obscure, from contorquēre to whirl around, from torquēre to twist, wrench
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for contorting



early 15c., from Latin contortus, past participle of contorquere "to whirl, twist together," from com- "together" or intensive (see com-) + torquere "to twist" (see thwart). Related: Contorted; contorting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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