mid-13c., "injury, wrong," from O.Fr. tort
(11c.), from M.L. tortum
"injustice," noun use of neut. of tortus
"wrung, twisted," pp. of L. torquere
"turn, turn awry, twist, wring, distort" (see thwart
). Legal sense of "breach of a duty, whereby someone acquires a right of action for damages" is first recorded 1580s.