tortuous


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.

tor·tu·ous

 (tôr′cho͞o-əs)
adj.
1. Having or marked by repeated turns or bends; winding or twisting: a tortuous road through the mountains.
2. Not straightforward; circuitous; devious: a tortuous plot; tortuous reasoning.
3. Highly involved; complex: tortuous legal procedures.

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin tortuōsus, from tortus, a twisting, from past participle of torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.]

tor′tu·ous·ly adv.
tor′tu·ous·ness n.
Usage Note: Although tortuous and torturous both come from the Latin word torquēre, "to twist," their primary meanings are distinct. Tortuous means "twisting" (a tortuous road) or by extension "complex" or "devious." Torturous refers primarily to torture and the pain associated with it. However, torturous also can be used in the sense of "twisted, strained, belabored" and tortured is an even stronger synonym: a tortured analogy.

tortuous

(ˈtɔːtjʊəs)
adj
1. twisted or winding: a tortuous road.
2. devious or cunning: a tortuous mind.
3. intricate
ˈtortuously adv
ˈtortuousness n

tor•tu•ous

(ˈtɔr tʃu əs)

adj.
1. full of twists, turns, or bends; twisting, winding, or crooked.
2. not direct or straightforward, as in procedure or speech; circuitous: tortuous negotiations.
3. deceitfully indirect or morally crooked; devious.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin tortuōsus=tortu(s) a twisting (tor(quēre) to twist, bend + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ōsus -ous]
tor′tu•ous•ly, adv.
tor′tu•ous•ness, n.
usage: See torturous.

tortuous

, torturous - Tortuous is "winding, crooked, full of twists and turns," and torturous, based on "torture," is "painful, characterized by suffering."
See also related terms for torture.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.tortuous - highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious; "the Byzantine tax structure"; "Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship"; "convoluted legal language"; "convoluted reasoning"; "the plot was too involved"; "a knotty problem"; "got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering"; "Oh, what a tangled web we weave"- Sir Walter Scott; "tortuous legal procedures"; "tortuous negotiations lasting for months"
complex - complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts; "a complex set of variations based on a simple folk melody"; "a complex mass of diverse laws and customs"
2.tortuous - marked by repeated turns and bendstortuous - marked by repeated turns and bends; "a tortuous road up the mountain"; "winding roads are full of surprises"; "had to steer the car down a twisty track"
crooked - having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned; "crooked country roads"; "crooked teeth"
3.tortuous - not straightforwardtortuous - not straightforward; "his tortuous reasoning"
indirect - extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action; "making indirect but legitimate inquiries"; "an indirect insult"; "doubtless they had some indirect purpose in mind"; "though his methods are indirect they are not dishonest"; "known as a shady indirect fellow"

tortuous

adjective
2. complicated, involved, misleading, tricky, indirect, ambiguous, roundabout, deceptive, devious, convoluted, mazy long and tortuous negotiations
complicated direct, straightforward, open, reliable, upright, honest, candid, ingenuous
Usage: The adjective tortuous is sometimes confused with torturous. A tortuous road is one that winds or twists, while a torturous experience is one that involves pain, suffering, or discomfort.

tortuous

adjective
1. Repeatedly curving in alternate directions:
2. Not taking a direct or straight line or course:
Translations

tortuous

[ˈtɔːtjʊəs] ADJ
1. (= winding) [path, road, process] → tortuoso
2. (= convoluted) [sentence, essay, logic] → enrevesado

tortuous

[ˈtɔːrtʃuəs] adj
[route, road] → tortueux/euse
[logic, argument, process] → tortueux/euse

tortuous

adj (lit) pathgewunden; (fig)verwickelt; methods also, person, journeyumständlich

tortuous

[ˈtɔːtjʊəs] adjtortuoso/a

tor·tu·ous

a. tortuoso-a; torcido-a; sinuoso-a.
References in classic literature ?
As, unfortunately, the Queen's highway ran down in tortuous descent to the handful of fishermen's cottages that had clung there limpet-like for ages, there was always a chance of such a stray visitation; but it was remote, and the whole place, hand and heart, was in the pocket of my lord.
Days passed--and nights; and then the beautiful Bermudas rose out of the sea, we entered the tortuous channel, steamed hither and thither among the bright summer islands, and rested at last under the flag of England and were welcome.
He thanked Providence for having sent this happy idea to him; but, as he was preparing to cross the Place, in order to reach the tortuous labyrinth of the city, where meander all those old sister streets, the Rues de la Barillerie, de la Vielle-Draperie, de la Savaterie, de la Juiverie, etc.
Little did she realize that the tortuous and distorted evolution of the next three centuries would compel a Third Revolt and a Fourth Revolt, and many Revolts, all drowned in seas of blood, ere the world-movement of labor should come into its own.
Increasing his gait but slightly he followed the tortuous windings of the trail until suddenly just before him, where the trail wound about the bole of a huge tree, he saw a young buck moving slowly ahead of him.
All the mystery and witchery of the night seemed to have gathered there amid the perfumes and the dusky and tortuous outlines of flowers and foliage.
But Commander Farragut would not take a tortuous passage, but doubled Cape Horn.
Sherlock Holmes was never at fault, however, and he muttered the names as the cab rattled through squares and in and out by tortuous by-streets.
The boat moved on,--freighted with its weight of sorrow,--up the red, muddy, turbid current, through the abrupt tortuous windings of the Red river; and sad eyes gazed wearily on the steep red-clay banks, as they glided by in dreary sameness.
So complicated, however, was the nature of this particular business transaction, and so tortuous the paths of its progress (partly owing to the complete disappearance of the owner of the horse, who had gone to the West and left no address), that it took the sheriff many weeks to prove Mr.
Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground.
An unguided ramble into its recesses in bad weather is apt to engender dissatisfaction with its narrow, tortuous, and miry ways.