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v. re·tort·ed, re·tort·ing, re·torts
a. To reply, especially to answer in a quick, caustic, or witty manner. See Synonyms at answer.
b. To present a counterargument to (an argument or accusation).
2. Archaic To return in kind; pay back.
1. To make a reply, especially a quick, caustic, or witty one.
2. To present a counterargument.
3. Archaic To return like for like; retaliate.
1. A quick incisive reply, especially one that turns the first speaker's words to his or her own disadvantage.
2. The act or an instance of retorting.
[Latin retorquēre, retort-, to bend back, retort : re-, re- + torquēre, to bend, twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.]
re·tort 2(rĭ-tôrt′, rē′tôrt′)
A closed laboratory vessel with an outlet tube, used for distillation, sublimation, or decomposition by heat.
[German Retort, from Medieval Latin retorta, from feminine of Latin retortus, past participle of retorquēre, to bend back; see retort1.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.