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
They were contorting themselves and even lying on the floor to get the shot when he would hold a press conference.
Nonprofits often find themselves contorting their activities and structures in order to secure grants.
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