from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To wind together (two or more threads, for example) so as to produce a single strand.
  • intransitive verb To form in this manner.
  • intransitive verb To wind or coil (vines or rope, for example) about something.
  • intransitive verb To interlock or interlace.
  • intransitive verb To make (one's way) in a tortuous manner.
  • intransitive verb To cause to rotate or turn in another direction.
  • intransitive verb To impart a spiral or coiling shape to, as by turning the ends in opposite directions.
  • intransitive verb To turn or open by turning.
  • intransitive verb To pull, break, or snap by turning.
  • intransitive verb To wrench or sprain.
  • intransitive verb To alter the normal aspect of; contort.
  • intransitive verb To alter or distort the intended meaning of: synonym: distort.
  • intransitive verb To alter or distort the mental, moral, or emotional character of.
  • intransitive verb To be or become twisted.
  • intransitive verb To move or progress in a winding course; meander.
  • intransitive verb To squirm; writhe.
  • intransitive verb To rotate or turn in another direction.
  • intransitive verb To dance the twist.
  • noun Something twisted or formed by twisting, especially.
  • noun A length of yarn, cord, or thread, especially a strong silk thread used mainly to bind the edges of buttonholes.
  • noun Tobacco leaves processed into the form of a rope or roll.
  • noun A loaf of bread or other bakery product made from pieces of dough twisted together.
  • noun A sliver of citrus peel twisted over or dropped into a beverage for flavoring.
  • noun A spin, twirl, or rotation.
  • noun A complete rotation of the body around its vertical axis, as in diving and gymnastics.
  • noun A spinning motion given to a ball when thrown or struck in a specific way.
  • noun The state of being twisted into a spiral; torsional stress or strain.
  • noun The degree or angle of torsional stress.
  • noun A contortion or distortion of the body, especially the face.
  • noun A distortion of meaning.
  • noun A sprain or wrench, as of an ankle.
  • noun A change in direction; a turn.
  • noun An unexpected change in a process or a departure from a pattern, often producing a distortion or perversion.
  • noun A personal inclination or eccentricity; a penchant or flaw.
  • noun A dance characterized by vigorous gyrations of the hips and arms.
  • idiom (leave to twist/leave twisting) To abandon (someone) to a bad situation, often as a recipient of blame.
  • idiom (twist (someone's) arm) To pressure or coerce.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Venetian and old English glasses, any one of the spiral lines, of various colors, frequently blown in the handles and other parts. See air-twist (with cut).
  • To unite, as two or more strands or filaments, by winding one about another; hence, to form by twining or rolling into a single thread; spin.
  • To intertwine; interweave; combine.
  • To weave; fabricate; compose.
  • To wreathe; wind; twine.


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

[Middle English twisten, to squeeze, be divided, from twist, a divided object, fork, rope, from Old English -twist; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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  • As in "Don't get you knickers in a twist".

    April 1, 2007

  • A type of decoration in the stems of 18th-century and later drinking glasses, made by twisting a glass rod embedded with threads of white glass, threads of colored glass, columns of air (air twists), or a combination of all three.

    November 9, 2007

  • Twist is the oldest form of tobacco. One to three high-quality leaves are braided and twisted into a rope while green, and then are cured in the same manner as other tobacco. Originally devised by sailors due to fire hazards of smoking at sea; and until recently this was done by farmers for their personal consumption in addition to other tobacco intended for sale. Modern twist is occasionally lightly sweetened.


    February 24, 2008

  • "like we did last summer"

    February 24, 2008

  • Also once a slang term for a skirt or dame.

    (My, what a lot of daffynitions WeirdNet has for twist!)

    February 25, 2008

  • Noun. Thread for sewing, or a measure of embroidery thread. (See no more twist)

    April 6, 2008

  • Let's twist again ...

    October 21, 2008

  • frequentative form is twizzle?

    September 21, 2011