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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.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.tortuously - with twists and turns
2.tortuously - in a tortuous mannertortuously - in a tortuous manner; "tortuously haggling over the price"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈtɔːtjʊəslɪ] advcontortamente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
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He could conceal his heart; had more endurance; he could swim longer, and steer a canoe better than any of his people; he could shoot straighter, and negotiate more tortuously than any man of his race I knew.
When, still a little fellow, he had dragged himself tortuously and by jerks beneath the shadows of its vaults, he seemed, with his human face and his bestial limbs, the natural reptile of that humid and sombre pavement, upon which the shadow of the Romanesque capitals cast so many strange forms.
Tortuously do all good things come nigh to their goal.
As if the aspiring city had become puffed up in the very ground on which it stood, the ground had so risen about Bleeding Heart Yard that you got into it down a flight of steps which formed no part of the original approach, and got out of it by a low gateway into a maze of shabby streets, which went about and about, tortuously ascending to the level again.
You are no longer the slow, plodding, puny thing of clay, creeping tortuously upon the ground; you are a part of Nature!
Grewgious's idea of looking at a furnished lodging was to get on the opposite side of the street to a house with a suitable bill in the window, and stare at it; and then work his way tortuously to the back of the house, and stare at that; and then not go in, but make similar trials of another house, with the same result; their progress was but slow.
The Senator's views on trade are as tortuously constructed as his positions on the war against Iraq.
They have been tortuously moving through Council amid strong opposition from Member States such as Ireland which questions the scientific evidence for radical action.
The documentation here (on its own terms, persuasively enough) presents Kraus's 'opinions' on Heine as increasingly unsympathetic and one-sided, reaching a crescendo in the 1910 essay and its tortuously moralizing sequel of 1915, 'Die Feinde Goethe und Heine', which used the published correspondence both to underline Heine's venality and to expose the flaws of apologetic Heine scholarship: a context for Kraus's negative reaction which Dietmar Goltschnigg underestimates.
But there are few business text that milk their chosen analogy more tortuously than Business Darwinism: Adaptive Strategies for the Information Age.
Despite Bruni's feelings toward Bush, this tortuously fair assessment of him is hard to dismiss.
Incrementally, tortuously, unnecessarily, she was unblessed by tiny fragments of memory.