Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[kuh n-tawr-shuh n] /kənˈtɔr ʃən/
the act or process of contorting.
the state of being contorted.
a contorted position.
something contorted or twisted, as in position or meaning:
His account of the incident was a complete contortion of fact.
Origin of contortion
1605-15; < Latin contortiōn- (stem of contortiō) a whirling around. See contort, -ion
Related forms
contortional, adjective
contortioned, adjective
uncontortioned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for contortion
Historical Examples
  • He was trying some contortion that I couldn't make out, when a deer stepped down the bank and never saw me.

    Ways of Wood Folk William J. Long
  • "Can't raise the other one," said the citizen, with a contortion of his lineaments.

    Sixes and Sevens O. Henry
  • The Grand street thing is a contortion before the obese complacency of the great god Jazz.

  • A Feat in contortion: To make both ends meet on $8 per week.

  • In the contortion of uncontrolled passion, the veil had dropped, and the delusion vanished.

    Manners, Vol 3 of 3 Frances Brooke
  • The figure, in its royal nobility and motherly despair, yet so free from contortion, has wonderful effect.

    History of Ancient Art Franz von Reber
  • A smile is sometimes bewitching, in general vapid, often a contortion.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • His pallor, the contortion of his features, the fear portrayed upon them, disclosed the anxiety of his mind.

  • The Blackfoot swayed and his moccasins slid here and there over the ground from the contortion of limbs and body.

    Deerfoot in The Mountains Edward S. Ellis
  • Every groan from the fiend, every contortion of his body was cheered by the thickly packed crowd of 10,000 persons.

    The Red Record Ida B. Wells-Barnett
British Dictionary definitions for contortion


the act or process of contorting or the state of being contorted
a twisted shape or position
something twisted or out of the ordinary in character, meaning, etc: mental contortions
Derived Forms
contortional, adjective
contortioned, adjective
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for contortion

early 15c., from Middle French contorsion or directly from Latin contortionem (nominative contorsio), noun of action from past participle stem of contorquere (see contort).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for contortion

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for contortion

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for contortion