Dictionary.com Word FAQs
What is the difference between tortuous and torturous?
Both tortuous and torturous come from a Latin word torquere, which means 'to twist'. Tortuous continues to mean 'full of twists, turns; twisted, winding'. However, torturous is a derivative of torture and means 'involving or causing torture; painful, tormenting'. The best way to remember the difference, then, is the tortur at the beginning of torturous. Examples: We drove up the tortuous mountain road. / Trying to teach him to drive was a torturous experience.