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[sin-yoo-uh s] /ˈsɪn yu əs/
having many curves, bends, or turns; winding:
a sinuous path.
indirect; devious:
sinuous questions.
characterized by a series of graceful curving motions:
a sinuous dance.
Botany. sinuate, as a leaf.
Origin of sinuous
1570-80; < Latin sinuōsus. See sinus, -ous
Related forms
sinuously, adverb
sinuousness, noun
subsinuous, adjective
unsinuous, adjective
unsinuously, adverb
unsinuousness, noun
1. curving, meandering, twining, twisting, coiled, curved, serpentine. 2. roundabout.
1. straight. 2. direct. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sinuous
  • Peppered around lava flats and mountaintops all over the moon are strange sinuous shapes known as lunar swirls.
  • The wind starts in motion sinuous tendrils of grains.
  • Volcanic flows have produced long, sinuous channels extending for hundreds of kilometers.
  • There was a defined silhouette: bias-cut skirts created a sinuous shape.
  • The dancing was sinuous and strong, and the dance as a whole deserved its cheers.
  • The cocooned creatures did a sinuous little dance, the lights dimming as they undulated.
  • Nearly six feet high, it resembles a tall curtain hanging in sinuous folds.
  • Sovereign and suave and sinuous, tepidly without charity.
  • He was aware of the small, sinuous movement her body made as she approached.
  • His works are generally flat and decorative, with strong sinuous lines.
British Dictionary definitions for sinuous


full of turns or curves; intricate
devious; not straightforward
supple; lithe
Also sinuate
Derived Forms
sinuously, adverb
sinuousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin sinuōsus winding, from sinus a curve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sinuous

"full of turns and curves," 1570s, from Latin sinuosus "full of curves, folds, or bendings," from sinus "curve, fold, bend" (see sinus). Related: Sinuously; sinuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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