from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being tortuous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The property of being tortuous.

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

  • noun puzzling complexity
  • noun a tortuous and twisted shape or position


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The 1920s in Russia was not an easy time to come clean about such matters, and this brutal historical fact probably explains some of the tortuousness of Bakhtin's reflections on religion and literature.

    The Archbishop's Dostoevsky - TLS

  • The tortuousness of the formulation becomes apparent if we try to paraphrase it: if time itself becomes itself a discontinuous element of a structure that consists of a series of temporal reversals, then time becomes a discontinuous element of a structure that consists of a series of discontinuous reversals that will never allow us to say how time itself could ever become, or be, itself!

    Discontinuous Shifts: History Reading History

  • If the total distance be compared with an estimate made from charts, all of which however are imperfect so far as the country between Meinkhoong and Beesa is concerned, the tortuousness of our course will be at once evident.

    Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and the Neighbouring Countries

  • It was horrible that nowadays, in thinking of Susy, he should always suspect ulterior motives, be meanly on the watch for some hidden tortuousness.

    The Glimpses of the Moon

  • The apparent tortuousness of Northcote's conduct was caused by the weakness of his position as leader of the Opposition in the House of

    The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Volume 1

  • My friends Vernon Lee and G.K. Chesterton, for example, have criticized it, and I think very justly, on the ground that the invincible tortuousness of human pride and class-feeling would inevitably vitiate its working.

    First and Last Things

  • The meticulous tortuousness of family life struck Mr. Twist with a sudden great impatience.

    Christopher and Columbus

  • * This is a very admissable explanation, considering the tedium and slowness of their progress in winding through scrubs, and being delayed by crossings, the tortuousness of their route making it difficult to keep the course.

    Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland

  • The mingled truculence and tortuousness of the diplomacy by which Bismarck sapped up to the short but decisive war, the issue of which gave to

    Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places

  • The organist admires Master Hugues, and approaches his creations with an open mind; but he cannot help feeling that this mode of composition represents the tortuousness of existence, and that its "truth" spreads golden above and about us, whether we accept her or not.

    A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.)


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