- full of twists, turns, or bends; twisting, winding, or crooked: a tortuous path.
- not direct or straightforward, as in procedure or speech; intricate; circuitous: tortuous negotiations lasting for months.
- deceitfully indirect or morally crooked, as proceedings, methods, or policy; devious.
Origin of tortuous
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tortuous
All of the various things I do I love doing, and occasionally I find them tortuous.Bob Balaban: How I Write
February 5, 2014
In 2011, after tortuous negotiations, a deal was struck for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years.Markets Approve of the Way U.S. Political System Handles Debt Problems
January 3, 2013
So why take the tortuous and offensive back-door route to appreciating Wharton?Why Jonathan Franzen Can’t Appreciate Edith Wharton
March 1, 2012
The Quetta Shura official says the negotiations with the French were tortuous.How the Taliban’s Hostages Were Freed
Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau
July 1, 2011
The principle of nationality is emerging from the tortuous confusion of the ages.Mountain Meditations
Dick, will you tell me what I do know, if I do not read every turn and trick of their tortuous nature?Lord Kilgobbin
The Fortymile is a very picturesque but most tortuous river.Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled
Vermicular: worm-like, tortuous: resembling the tracks of a worm.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
There was a winding stair of stone, narrow and tortuous, in one corner of the tower.The Golden Dog
- twisted or windinga tortuous road
- devious or cunninga tortuous mind
Word Origin and History for tortuous
late 14c., from Anglo-French tortuous (12c.), from Latin tortuosus "full of twists, winding," from tortus "a twisting, winding," from stem of torquere "to twist, wring, distort" (see thwart).
- Having many turns; winding or twisting.