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re·tort 1

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′er n.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
(12.) If the retort to this query consists to any substantial degree of an argument that such an arrangement of diminishing judicial power of precedent is indicated by the original meaning of the term "the judicial power" or by the original intent or original understanding of the framers, the retorter is in danger of giving away the game.