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contortionist

[kuh n-tawr-shuh-nist]
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noun
  1. a person who performs gymnastic feats involving contorted postures.
  2. a person who practices contortion: a verbal contortionist.

Origin of contortionist

First recorded in 1855–60; contortion + -ist
Related formscon·tor·tion·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contortionist

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For there, standing in the center of the room was the Contortionist, "limbering up."

    Continuous Vaudeville

    Will M. Cressy

  • It is not necessary to be a contortionist, nor will it answer to be an ossified freak.

    Riding and Driving

    Edward L. Anderson

  • In addition to my training as contortionist I was being trained as gymnast.

    The Autobiography of a Clown

    Isaac Frederick Marcosson

  • This stranger was a contortionist, there could be no question about that now.

    White Fire

    Roy J. Snell

  • He hoped that, by this time, they had succeeded in shaking the contortionist off their trail.

    White Fire

    Roy J. Snell


British Dictionary definitions for contortionist

contortionist

noun
  1. a performer who contorts his body for the entertainment of others
  2. a person who twists or warps meaning or thoughtsa verbal contortionist
Derived Formscontortionistic, 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

Word Origin and History for contortionist

n.

1841, from contortion + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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