Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
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.]
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.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||tortuousness - a tortuous and twisted shape or position; "they built a tree house in the tortuosities of its boughs"; "the acrobat performed incredible contortions"|
|2.||tortuousness - puzzling complexity|