Try Our Apps


World Series Quiz


[kuh n-tawr-shuh-nist] /kənˈtɔr ʃə nɪst/
a person who performs gymnastic feats involving contorted postures.
a person who practices contortion:
a verbal contortionist.
Origin of contortionist
1855-60; contortion + -ist
Related forms
contortionistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for contortionist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was exceedingly slim and limber and had learned many of the tricks of the contortionist.

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

    The Autobiography of a Clown Isaac Frederick Marcosson
  • The contortionist had reappeared before the table, and had greeted her mistress by touching her hands to her face.

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

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • Strangely enough, during the days that followed the contortionist put in no second appearance.

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • Some Japanese acrobats and a Swedish contortionist completed the performance.

    The A.E.F. Heywood Broun
  • This stranger was a contortionist, there could be no question about that now.

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • He wondered, too, how the automobile of the contortionist had happened to catch fire in the desert.

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • It is not necessary to be a contortionist, nor will it answer to be an ossified freak.

    Riding and Driving Edward L. Anderson
British Dictionary definitions for contortionist


a performer who contorts his body for the entertainment of others
a person who twists or warps meaning or thoughts: a verbal contortionist
Derived Forms
contortionistic, 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 contortionist

1841, from contortion + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for contortionist

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for contortionist

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for contortionist