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[tawr-shuh n] /ˈtɔr ʃən/
the act of twisting.
the state of being twisted.
  1. the twisting of a body by two equal and opposite torques.
  2. the internal torque so produced.
  1. the degree of departure of a curve from a plane.
  2. a number measuring this.
Origin of torsion
late Middle English
1375-1425; 1535-45 for def 1; late Middle English torcion wringing one's bowels < Old French torsion < Late Latin torsiōn- (stem of torsiō) torment, equivalent to tors(us) twisted (see torse) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
torsional, adjective
torsionally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for torsion


  1. the twisting of a part by application of equal and opposite torques at either end
  2. the condition of twist and shear stress produced by a torque on a part or component
the act of twisting or the state of being twisted
Derived Forms
torsional, adjective
torsionally, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, from medical Latin torsiō griping pains, from Latin torquēre to twist, torture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for torsion

early 15c., "wringing pain in the bowels," from Old French torsion (early 14c.), from Late Latin torsionem (nominative torsio) "a wringing or gripping," from Latin tortionem (nominative tortio) "torture, torment," noun of action from past participle stem of torquere "to twist" (see thwart). Meaning "action or process of twisting as by opposing forces" is first recorded 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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torsion in Medicine

torsion tor·sion (tôr'shən)

  1. A twisting or rotation of a part on its long axis.

  2. Twisting of the cut end of an artery to arrest hemorrhage.

  3. Ocular rotation around the anteroposterior axis.

tor'sion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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torsion in Science
  1. The stress on an object when torque is applied to it.

  2. A mathematical operation in geometry measuring how tightly a plane is twisted.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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