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retort1

[ri-tawrt] /rɪˈtɔrt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reply to, usually in a sharp or retaliatory way; reply in kind to.
2.
to return (an accusation, epithet, etc.) upon the person uttering it.
3.
to answer (an argument or the like) by another to the contrary.
noun
4.
a severe, incisive, or witty reply, especially one that counters a first speaker's statement, argument, etc.
5.
the act of retorting.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin retortus (past participle of retorquēre to bend back), equivalent to re- re- + torqu(ēre) to twist, bend + -tus past participle suffix, with -qut- > -t-
Related forms
retorter, noun
Synonyms
1. retaliate. 4. riposte, rejoinder, response. See answer.

retort2

[ri-tawrt] /rɪˈtɔrt/
noun
1.
Chemistry.
  1. a vessel, commonly a glass bulb with a long neck bent downward, used for distilling or decomposing substances by heat.
  2. a refractory chamber, generally cylindrically shaped, within which some substance, as ore or coal, is heated as part of a smelting or manufacturing process.
  3. an airtight, usually cylindrical vessel of fire clay or iron, used in the destructive distillation chiefly of coal and wood in the manufacture of illuminating gas.
2.
a sterilizer for food cans.
verb (used with object)
3.
to sterilize food after it is sealed in a container, by steam or other heating methods.
4.
Chemistry. to subject (shale, ore, etc.) to heat and possibly reduced pressure in order to produce fuel oil, metal, etc.
Origin
1550-60; < Middle French retorte < Medieval Latin retorta, noun use of feminine of Latin retortus; see retort1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for retorting

retort1

/rɪˈtɔːt/
verb
1.
(when transitive, takes a clause as object) to utter (something) quickly, sharply, wittily, or angrily, in response
2.
to use (an argument) against its originator; turn the tables by saying (something)
noun
3.
a sharp, angry, or witty reply
4.
an argument used against its originator
Derived Forms
retorter, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin retorquēre to twist back, from re- + torquēre to twist, wrench

retort2

/rɪˈtɔːt/
noun
1.
a glass vessel with a round bulb and long tapering neck that is bent down, used esp in a laboratory for distillation
2.
a vessel in which large quantities of material may be heated, esp one used for heating ores in the production of metals or heating coal to produce gas
verb
3.
(transitive) to heat in a retort
Word Origin
C17: from French retorte, from Medieval Latin retorta, from Latin retorquēre to twist back; see retort1
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 retorting

retort

v.

1550s, "make return in kind" (especially of an injury), from Old French retort and directly from Latin retortus, past participle of retorquere "turn back, twist back, throw back," from re- "back" (see re-) + torquere "to twist" (see thwart). Applied to exchanges of jest or sarcasm by c.1600, hence "say or utter sharply and aggressively in reply" (1620s). Related: Retorted; retorting.

n.

"act of retorting," c.1600, from retort (v.).

"vessel used in chemistry for distilling or effecting decomposition by the aid of heat," c.1600, from Middle French retorte, from Medieval Latin *retorta "a retort, a vessel with a bent neck," literally "a thing bent or twisted," from past participle stem of Latin retorquere (see retort (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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retorting in Medicine

retort re·tort (rĭ-tôrt', rē'tôrt')
n.
A closed laboratory vessel with an outlet tube, used for distillation, sublimation, or decomposition by heat.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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retorting in Science
retort
  (rĭ-tôrt', rē'-)   
A glass laboratory vessel in the shape of a bulb with a long, downward-pointing outlet tube. It is used for distillation or decomposition by heat.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for retorting

retort

vessel used for distillation of substances that are placed inside and subjected to heat. The simple form of retort, used in some laboratories, is a glass or metal bulb having a long, curved spout through which the distillate may pass to enter a receiving vessel. The design dates back to the cucurbit (flask) used by medieval alchemists.

Learn more about retort with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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