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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce contort (audio)

Dictionary definition of contort

To twist, distort, or deform something, typically an object, body part, or idea, in a way that deviates from its natural or expected shape or arrangement.
"We watched the gymnasts contort effortlessly through their routines."

Detailed meaning of contort

The verb "contort" describes the action of twisting, bending, or distorting something, typically a physical object or one's own body, into an unnatural or often grotesque shape. This twisting motion can be deliberate or involuntary and is often associated with physical discomfort or pain. For instance, when a person contorts their face, they might make unusual or exaggerated facial expressions that distort their features. Alternatively, objects can be contorted by applying pressure or force to them, causing them to take on irregular or twisted forms. "Contort" implies a significant alteration from the natural or expected shape, and it can also be used metaphorically to describe the distortion or misrepresentation of facts, ideas, or information.

Example sentences containing contort

1. They contort their bodies into different shapes for the performance.
2. Did you see how they contort their faces to mimic cartoons?
3. She trained for years to contort herself into difficult yoga poses.
4. When he is stressed, he tends to contort his facial expressions.
5. The dancers contort to the rhythm of the music.
6. The magician can contort himself into a small box.

History and etymology of contort

The verb 'contort' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'contorquere,' which is a combination of 'con' (meaning 'together') and 'torquere' (meaning 'to twist' or 'to turn'). In Latin, 'contorquere' was used to describe the act of twisting or turning something together, often with force or pressure. As the term transitioned into Middle English and eventually into Modern English, it became 'contort,' retaining its sense of twisting or distorting something, whether it be an object, body part, or idea, in a way that deviates from its natural or expected shape or arrangement. The etymology of 'contort' effectively conveys its historical association with the act of twisting and distorting, emphasizing its role as a verb used to describe the intentional or forceful alteration of form or appearance.

Quiz: Find the meaning of contort

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Further usage examples of contort

1. The trees by the coast contort due to the constant winds.
2. The witnesses contort their stories to avoid getting in trouble.
3. The python can contort around its prey with incredible strength.
4. Contortionists contort their bodies to an amazing degree.
5. In an attempt to escape, the cat will contort itself through the narrow opening.
6. The aerialist, suspended from the ceiling, contort in mid-air.
7. The vines contort around the trees as they grow.
8. The plot of the book contorts in unexpected ways.
9. To make the balloon animals, you have to contort the balloons into various shapes.
10. The artist uses wires to contort the sculpture into its final form.
11. In the horror movie, the ghosts contort through the walls.
12. Shadows contort across the walls as the candle flickers.
13. During the mime's performance, he contorts to imitate being trapped in a box.
14. She contorted her body to fit through the narrow space.



twist, straighten, align, correct


Character Traits and Behavior, Complexity and Intricacy, Imagination and Ingenuity, Movement and Flow

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