retort

1 [ri-tawrt]
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; < 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-

retorter, noun


1. retaliate. 4. riposte, rejoinder, response. See answer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

retort

2 [ri-tawrt]
noun
1.
Chemistry.
a.
a vessel, commonly a glass bulb with a long neck bent downward, used for distilling or decomposing substances by heat.
b.
a refractory chamber, generally cylindrically shaped, within which some substance, as ore or coal, is heated as part of a smelting or manufacturing process.
c.
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.
Cite This Source Link To retorts
Collins
World English Dictionary
retort1 (rɪˈtɔːt)
 
vb
1.  (when tr, 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)
 
n
3.  a sharp, angry, or witty reply
4.  an argument used against its originator
 
[C16: from Latin retorquēre to twist back, from re- + torquēre to twist, wrench]
 
re'torter1
 
n

retort2 (rɪˈtɔːt)
 
n
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
 
vb
3.  (tr) to heat in a retort
 
[C17: from French retorte, from Medieval Latin retorta, from Latin retorquēre to twist back; see retort1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

retort
c.1557, from L. retortus, pp. of retorquere "turn back," from re- "back" + torquere "to twist" (see thwart). The noun is 1600, from the verb.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
retort   (rĭ-tôrt', rē'-)  Pronunciation Key 
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.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The family retorts that if his intentions were amicable, he would sell and go
  away.
He retorts that the bulk of the profits went to his investors, which include
  foundations, endowments and pension funds.
The second team retorts that their images were too okay to use, and the first
  team may have been looking at the wrong pictures.
Foreign reporters who ask about his plight have been treated to glib retorts.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature