having many curves, bends, or turns; winding: a sinuous path.
indirect; devious: sinuous questions.
characterized by a series of graceful curving motions: a sinuous dance.
Botany. sinuate, as a leaf.

Origin of sinuous

From the Latin word sinuōsus, dating back to 1570–80. See sinus, -ous
Related formssin·u·ous·ly, adverbsin·u·ous·ness, nounsub·sin·u·ous, adjectiveun·sin·u·ous, adjectiveun·sin·u·ous·ly, adverbun·sin·u·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for sinuous

1. curving, meandering, twining, twisting, coiled, curved, serpentine. 2. roundabout.

Antonyms for sinuous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sinuous

Contemporary Examples of sinuous

Historical Examples of sinuous

  • With a sinuous movement she turned on her elbow to face him.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • For what end are her fair complexities, her changes of soil, her sinuous coast?

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • Sinuous and supple, she was exquisitely feminine to the finger tips.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Lithe and sinuous as a panther, he rode with a perfect ease that was captivating.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • The sinuous Ravi river was hardly half an English mile distant.

British Dictionary definitions for sinuous



full of turns or curves; intricate
devious; not straightforward
supple; lithe
Also: sinuate
Derived Formssinuously, adverbsinuousness, noun

Word Origin for sinuous

C16: from Latin sinuōsus winding, from sinus a curve
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 sinuous

"full of turns and curves," 1570s, from Latin sinuosus "full of curves, folds, or bendings," from sinus "curve, fold, bend" (see sinus). Related: Sinuously; sinuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper