[ twist ]
See synonyms for: twisttwistedtwisting on

verb (used with object)
  1. to combine, as two or more strands or threads, by winding together; intertwine.

  2. to form by or as if by winding strands together: Several fibers were used to twist the rope.

  1. to entwine (one thing) with another; interlace (something) with something else; interweave; plait.

  2. to wind or coil (something) about something else; encircle; entwine; wreathe.

  3. to alter in shape, as by turning the ends in opposite directions, so that parts previously in the same straight line and plane are located in a spiral curve: The sculptor twisted the form into an arabesque. He twisted his body around to look behind him.

  4. to turn sharply or wrench out of place; sprain: He twisted his ankle.

  5. to pull, tear, or break off by turning forcibly: He twisted the arm off the puppet.

  6. to distort (the features) by tensing or contracting the facial muscles; contort: She twisted her face in a wry smile.

  7. to distort the meaning or form of; pervert: He twisted my comment about to suit his own purpose.

  8. to cause to become mentally or emotionally distorted; warp: The loss of his business twisted his whole outlook on life.

  9. to form into a coil, knot, or the like by winding, rolling, etc.: to twist the hair into a knot.

  10. to bend tortuously.

  11. to cause to move with a rotary motion, as a ball pitched in a curve.

  12. to turn (something) from one direction to another, as by rotating or revolving: I twisted my chair to face the window.

  13. to combine or associate intimately.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be or become intertwined.

  2. to wind or twine about something.

  1. to writhe or squirm.

  2. to take a spiral form or course; wind, curve, or bend.

  3. to turn or rotate, as on an axis; revolve, as about something; spin.

  4. to turn so as to face in another direction.

  5. to turn, coil, or bend into a spiral shape.

  6. to change shape under forcible turning or twisting.

  7. to move with a progressive rotary motion, as a ball pitched in a curve.

  8. to dance the twist.

  1. a deviation in direction; curve; bend; turn.

  2. the action of turning or rotating on an axis; rotary motion; spin.

  1. anything formed by or as if by twisting or twining parts together.

  2. the act or process of twining strands together, as in thread, yarn, or rope.

  3. a twisting awry or askew.

  4. distortion or perversion, as of meaning or form.

  5. a peculiar attitude or bias; eccentric turn or bent of mind; eccentricity.

  6. spiral disposition, arrangement, or form.

  7. spiral movement or course.

  8. an irregular bend; crook; kink.

  9. a sudden, unanticipated change of course, as of events.

  10. a treatment, method, idea, version, etc., especially one differing from that which preceded: The screenwriters gave the old plot a new twist.

  11. the changing of the shape of anything by or as by turning the ends in opposite directions.

  12. the stress causing this alteration; torque.

  13. the resulting state.

  14. a twisting or torsional action, force, or stress; torsion.

  15. a strong, twisted silk thread, heavier than ordinary sewing silk, for working buttonholes and for other purposes.

  16. the direction of twisting in weaving yarn; S twist or Z twist.

  17. a loaf or roll of dough twisted and baked.

  18. a strip of citrus peel that has been twisted and placed in a drink to add flavor.

  19. a kind of tobacco manufactured in the form of a rope or thick cord.

  20. a dance performed by couples and characterized by strongly rhythmic turns and twists of the arms, legs, and torso.

  21. the degree of spiral formed by the grooves in a rifled firearm or cannon.

  22. Gymnastics, Diving. a full rotation of the body about the vertical axis.

  23. a wrench.

Idioms about twist

  1. twist one's arm, Informal. to coerce: I didn't want to go, but he twisted my arm.

Origin of twist

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English twisten “to divide,” derivative of twist “divided object, rope” (compare Old English -twist in candel-twist “pair of snuffers”); cognate with Dutch twisten “to quarrel,” German Zwist “a quarrel.” See twi-

synonym study For twist

32. See turn.

Other words for twist

Other words from twist

  • twist·a·ble, adjective
  • twist·a·bil·i·ty [twis-tuh-bil-i-tee], /ˌtwɪs təˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • twist·ing·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·twist, verb
  • re·twist, verb
  • un·twist·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby twist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use twist in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for twist


/ (twɪst) /

  1. to cause (one end or part) to turn or (of one end or part) to turn in the opposite direction from another; coil or spin

  2. to distort or be distorted; change in shape

  1. to wind or cause to wind; twine, coil, or intertwine: to twist flowers into a wreath

  2. to force or be forced out of the natural form or position: to twist one's ankle

  3. (usually passive) to change or cause to change for the worse in character, meaning, etc; pervert: his ideas are twisted; she twisted the statement

  4. to revolve or cause to revolve; rotate

  5. (tr) to wrench with a turning action: to twist something from someone's grasp

  6. (intr) to follow a winding course

  7. (intr) to squirm, as with pain

  8. (intr) to dance the twist

  9. (tr) British informal to cheat; swindle

  10. twist someone's arm to persuade or coerce someone

  1. the act or an instance of twisting

  2. something formed by or as if by twisting: a twist of hair

  1. a decisive change of direction, aim, meaning, or character

  2. (in a novel, play, etc) an unexpected event, revelation, or other development

  3. a bend: a twist in the road

  4. a distortion of the original or natural shape or form

  5. a jerky pull, wrench, or turn

  6. a strange personal characteristic, esp a bad one

  7. a confused mess, tangle, or knot made by twisting

  8. a twisted thread used in sewing where extra strength is needed

  9. (in weaving) a specified direction of twisting the yarn

  10. the twist a modern dance popular in the 1960s, in which couples vigorously twist the hips in time to rhythmic music

  11. a bread loaf or roll made of one or more pieces of twisted dough

  12. a thin sliver of peel from a lemon, lime, etc, twisted and added to a drink

    • a cigar made by twisting three cigars around one another

    • chewing tobacco made in the form of a roll by twisting the leaves together

  13. physics torsional deformation or shear stress or strain

  14. sport, mainly US and Canadian spin given to a ball in various games, esp baseball

  15. the extent to which the grooves in the bore of a rifled firearm are spiralled

  16. round the twist British slang mad; eccentric

Origin of twist

Old English; related to German dialect Zwist a quarrel, Dutch twisten to quarrel

Derived forms of twist

  • twistable, adjective
  • twistability, noun
  • twisted, adjective
  • twisting, adjective
  • twisty, 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