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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce tortuous (audio)

Dictionary definition of tortuous

Characterized by twists, turns, and complex, winding paths or processes.
"The plot of the movie was tortuous, with many twists and turns."

Detailed meaning of tortuous

It signifies a state of being intricate, convoluted, or marked by numerous bends or deviations, often making it difficult to navigate or understand. A tortuous road, for instance, might have many sharp curves and switchbacks, while a tortuous legal argument could be convoluted and hard to follow. The term "tortuous" can also be applied more broadly to describe any situation, explanation, or process that is excessively complicated, indirect, or circuitous, requiring extra effort to decipher or traverse. Overall, "tortuous" emphasizes the presence of intricate and convoluted elements that add complexity or difficulty to a situation, path, or explanation.

Example sentences containing tortuous

1. The tortuous mountain road tested the driver's skill.
2. His explanation of the theory was a tortuous journey.
3. The river's tortuous course carved a deep canyon.
4. Navigating the maze's tortuous passages proved challenging.
5. The legal process can be long and tortuous.
6. The labyrinth's tortuous design led to frustration.

History and etymology of tortuous

The adjective 'tortuous' has an etymology rooted in the Latin word 'tortuosus,' which stems from 'tortus,' meaning 'twisted' or 'winding.' The evolution of this word's meaning reflects its origin, as 'tortuous' is used to describe things that are characterized by twists, turns, and complex, winding paths or processes. The etymology of 'tortuous' underscores the intricate and convoluted nature of that which it describes, suggesting a sense of complexity and difficulty akin to navigating a winding, twisting road or unraveling a convoluted series of events.

Quiz: Find the meaning of tortuous

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Further usage examples of tortuous

1. The politician gave a tortuous speech full of contradictions.
2. The detective followed a tortuous trail of clues.
3. Her journey through the forest was tortuous but rewarding.
4. The artist's creative process was often tortuous.
5. The company faced a tortuous path to financial recovery.
6. Climbing the mountain required navigating its tortuous slopes.
7. The writer's tortuous plot kept readers guessing.
8. The negotiations were a tortuous exercise in diplomacy.
9. The river's tortuous bends concealed hidden beauty.
10. The hiker faced a tortuous trail to reach the summit.
11. The entrepreneur's path to success was tortuous.
12. The legal argument took a tortuous route to resolution.
13. The ancient city's layout included many tortuous alleys.
14. The history of the conflict was a tortuous tale of strife.
15. The road through the mountains was tortuous and difficult to navigate.
16. The conversation took a tortuous turn and became quite uncomfortable.
17. The river flowed through a tortuous path, making it difficult to canoe.
18. The book's argument was tortuous, and difficult to follow.
19. The politician's answer was tortuous and evasive.
20. The maze was tortuous, with many dead ends and false paths.
21. The negotiations were tortuous, with both sides unwilling to compromise.
22. The path to success was tortuous and fraught with obstacles.
23. The legal process was tortuous, taking years to resolve.
24. The trail was tortuous, with many switchbacks and steep inclines.
25. The mental journey through grief was tortuous and painful.



winding, direct, straightforward, linear


Convoluted and Cryptic, Spatial Formations and Design, Shape and Form

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