[kuh n-tawr-shuh n]


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 formscon·tor·tion·al, adjectivecon·tor·tioned, adjectiveun·con·tor·tioned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contortion

Historical Examples of contortion

  • A smile is sometimes bewitching, in general vapid, often a contortion.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • "Can't raise the other one," said the citizen, with a contortion of his lineaments.

  • Every mouth that was not making a contortion was emitting yells.

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

  • I had been a good balancer in my contortion days, and this was also an asset.

    The Autobiography of a Clown

    Isaac Frederick Marcosson

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, etcmental contortions
Derived Formscontortional, adjectivecontortioned, 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 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