from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To twist, wrench, or bend severely out of shape: pain that contorted their faces.
  • intransitive v. To become twisted into a strained shape or expression. See Synonyms at distort.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To twist in a violent manner; as, features contorted with fury.
  • v. To twist into or as if into a strained shape or expression.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To twist, or twist together; to turn awry; to bend; to distort; to wrest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To twist, draw, bend, or wrench out of shape; make crooked or deformed.
  • Twisted; contorted.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. twist and press out of shape


Latin contorquēre, contort-, to twist : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
con- + -tort, from Middle English, from Latin contortus, past participle of contorquere, from com- + torqueō ("twist, turn"). (Wiktionary)


  • I might have passed out for a moment; Noah’s face went fuzzy as I watched his expression contort in the pleasant agony of sex.

    My Fair Succubi

  • The interplay between contract and tort the so-called contort is very important and not easy to understand.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Business Torts:

  • The demon cocked his head to the side and with analytical interest watched his mistress’s expression contort.


  • The problem is when you're on track with road tyres, there isn't enough rubber making contact with the tarmac, which causes the tyres to twist and contort, meaning substantially less grip after only a few laps.

    Car Advice | News | Reviews

  • I'm not prying, "Antimodes explained, seeing a pained expression contort the child's face.

    The Soulforge

  • Malkin claims proves Obama was kowtowing to the Muslim Monarch, you note that Obama is about a foot taller than Abdullah, and so had to kind of contort himself to get into any sort of position to shake the sheikh's hand.

    Anorak News

  • ... note that Obama is about a foot taller than Abdullah, and so had to kind of contort himself to get into any sort of position to shake the sheikh's hand.

    American Thinker

  • In a small 104-degree room with 40 percent humidity, she and her bosses contort their bodies into shapes that most HR departments would deem "unacceptable."

    Can Yoga Give You A Leg Up In The Corporate World? Some New Yorkers Say 'Yes!'

  • And now you know why the Republicans contort themselves to keep the voters scared by demonizing Muslims, gays, “socialists”, immigrants and anything else they can think of to distract attention from issues relevant to fundamental human survival like affordable housing, access to health care and jobs that pay a living wage.

    Think Progress » States ‘with the most to gain under health care reform are overwhelmingly represented by Republicans.’

  • Do we really want the crooked initiative process to open itself to anyone with money not only being able to contort and lie, but then to have special rights in courts that you and I do not have?

    Rick Jacobs: Will Prop 8 End California's Democracy?


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