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

  • transitive v. To wind together (two or more threads, for example) so as to produce a single strand.
  • transitive v. To form in this manner: twist a length of rope from strands of hemp.
  • transitive v. To wind or coil (vines or rope, for example) about something.
  • transitive v. To interlock or interlace: twist flowers in one's hair.
  • transitive v. To make (one's way) in a tortuous manner: twisted my way through the briar patch.
  • transitive v. To turn so as to face another direction: twisted their heads around at the sound of the doorbell.
  • transitive v. To impart a spiral or coiling shape to, as by turning the ends in opposite directions: twisting wire into a loop.
  • transitive v. To turn or open by turning: twisted off the bottle cap.
  • transitive v. To pull, break, or snap by turning: twist off a dead branch.
  • transitive v. To wrench or sprain: twist one's wrist.
  • transitive v. To alter the normal aspect of; contort: twist one's mouth into a wry smile.
  • transitive v. To alter or distort the intended meaning of: The cross-examiner twisted the words of the witness. See Synonyms at distort.
  • transitive v. To alter or distort the mental, moral, or emotional character of: The trauma twisted the child's outlook.
  • intransitive v. To be or become twisted.
  • intransitive v. To move or progress in a winding course; meander: The river twisted toward the sea.
  • intransitive v. To squirm; writhe: twist with pain.
  • intransitive v. To rotate or revolve.
  • intransitive v. To dance the twist.
  • intransitive v. To move so as to face in another direction.
  • n. Something twisted or formed by twisting, especially:
  • n. A length of yarn, cord, or thread, especially a strong silk thread used mainly to bind the edges of buttonholes.
  • n. Tobacco leaves processed into the form of a rope or roll.
  • n. A loaf of bread or other bakery product made from pieces of dough twisted together.
  • n. A sliver of citrus peel twisted over or dropped into a beverage for flavoring.
  • n. The act of twisting or the condition of being twisted; a spin, twirl, or rotation.
  • n. Sports A complete rotation of the body around its vertical axis, as in diving and gymnastics.
  • n. Sports A spinning motion given to a ball when thrown or struck in a specific way.
  • n. The state of being twisted into a spiral; torsional stress or strain.
  • n. The degree or angle of torsional stress.
  • n. A contortion or distortion of the body, especially the face.
  • n. A distortion of meaning: gave my words a misleading twist.
  • n. A sprain or wrench, as of an ankle.
  • n. A change in direction; a turn: a sharp twist in the path.
  • n. An unexpected change in a process or a departure from a pattern, often producing a distortion or perversion: a twist of fate; a story with a quirky twist.
  • n. A personal inclination or eccentricity; a penchant or flaw: an odd twist to his character.
  • n. A dance characterized by vigorous gyrations of the hips and arms.
  • idiom leave to twist To abandon (someone) to a bad situation, often as a recipient of blame: "If our envoy was so blameless, why had she been left to twist in the wind?” ( William Safire).
  • idiom twist (someone's) arm Slang To coerce by or as if by physical force: If you twist my arm, I'll stay for a second beer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A twisting force
  • n. Anything twisted, or the act of twisting
  • n. the degree of stress or strain when twisted.
  • n. A type of thread made from two filaments twisted together.
  • n. A sliver of lemon peel added to a cocktail, etc.
  • n. A sudden bend (or short series of bends) in a road, path, etc.
  • n. A distortion to the meaning of a word or passage.
  • n. An unexpected turn in a story, tale, etc.
  • n. A type of dance characterised by rotating one’s hips. See Wikipedia:Twist (dance)
  • n. A rotation of the body when diving.
  • n. A sprain, especially to the ankle.
  • n. twig
  • n. a girl, a woman
  • v. To turn the ends of something, usually thread, rope etc., in opposite directions, often using force.
  • v. To join together by twining one part around another.
  • v. To turn a knob etc.
  • v. To distort or change the truth or meaning of words when repeating.
  • v. To form a twist (in any of the above noun meanings).
  • v. To injure (a body part) by bending it in the wrong direction.
  • v. To wind; to follow a bendy or wavy course; to have many bends.
  • v. To cause to rotate
  • v. To dance the twist (a type of dance characterised by twisting one's hips)
  • v. to coax
  • v. in the game of blackjack (pontoon or twenty-one), to be dealt another card.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of twisting; a contortion; a flexure; a convolution; a bending.
  • n. The form given in twisting.
  • n. That which is formed by twisting, convoluting, or uniting parts.
  • n. A cord, thread, or anything flexible, formed by winding strands or separate things round each other.
  • n. A kind of closely twisted, strong sewing silk, used by tailors, saddlers, and the like.
  • n. A kind of cotton yarn, of several varieties.
  • n. A roll of twisted dough, baked.
  • n. A little twisted roll of tobacco.
  • n. One of the threads of a warp, -- usually more tightly twisted than the filling.
  • n. A material for gun barrels, consisting of iron and steel twisted and welded together.
  • n. The spiral course of the rifling of a gun barrel or a cannon.
  • n. A beverage made of brandy and gin.
  • n. A twig.
  • n. Act of imparting a turning or twisting motion, as to a pitched ball; also, the motion thus imparted.
  • n. A strong individual tendency, or bent; a marked inclination; a bias; -- often implying a peculiar or unusual tendency.
  • intransitive v. To be contorted; to writhe; to be distorted by torsion; to be united by winding round each other; to be or become twisted.
  • intransitive v. To follow a helical or spiral course; to be in the form of a helix.
  • transitive v. To contort; to writhe; to complicate; to crook spirally; to convolve.
  • transitive v. Hence, to turn from the true form or meaning; to pervert.
  • transitive v. To distort, as a solid body, by turning one part relatively to another about an axis passing through both; to subject to torsion.
  • transitive v. To wreathe; to wind; to encircle; to unite by intertexture of parts.
  • transitive v. To wind into; to insinuate; -- used reflexively.
  • transitive v. To unite by winding one thread, strand, or other flexible substance, round another; to form by convolution, or winding separate things round each other.
  • transitive v. Hence, to form as if by winding one part around another; to wreathe; to make up.
  • transitive v. To form into a thread from many fine filaments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To bend or turn spirally, as by causing both ends to revolve in opposite directions; alter in shape so that parts previously in the same straight line and plane are located in a spiral curve; also, to cause to move spirally or with a progressive rotary motion, as a ball when pitched in a curve, or a billiard-ball when Englished.
  • To curve; bend; deflect: as, to twist a thing into a serpentine form; twisted like the letter S.
  • To thrust out of place or shape; contort or distort; pervert; wrench; wrest; warp: used literally or figuratively.
  • To press hard; wring.
  • To lop, as a tree, by cutting off branches or twigs.
  • To be intertwined or interwoven.
  • To be wreathed or coiled; wind.
  • To be bent round and round spirally; also, to move in such a manner or with continuous revolutions.
  • To curve; circle; revolve; move in a circle or spiral.
  • To be bent; turned, or contorted; writhe; squirm.
  • To be parted or cleft in twain; be divided, severed, sundered, or separated.
  • n.
  • n.
  • n. 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).
  • n. A thread, cord, rope, or the like made of two or more strands wound one about another; anything resembling such a rope or coil.
  • n. Specifically— A kind of strong, close silk thread used for sewing.
  • n. A kind of cotton yarn of several varieties.
  • n. In weaving, the warp-thread of the web.
  • n. A loaf or roll of twisted dough baked.
  • n. A kind of manufactured tobacco made in the form of a rope or thick cord.
  • n. A fabric made with a double and hence heavy thread; coarse cloth. Compare twine, n., 1, and twine, adjective
  • n. A forked branch; a twig; a spray.
  • n. Same as fork, 5.
  • n. A hinge.
  • n. An intertwining or interlacing; a knot or net, or other interwoven contrivance.
  • n. A spiral form, disposition, or arrangement, such as may be produced by bending round both ends of an object in opposite directions; also, spiral or progressive rotary motion, or the path described by an object so moving: as, the twist given to a ball in pitching causes it to curve; the twist of a billiard-ball in play.
  • n. Specifically, in firearms.
  • n. The spiral formed by a groove in a rifled piece; the inclination of the grooves of a rifled piece to the axis of the bore.
  • n. Iron and steel twisted and welded together, used as a material for gun-barrels.
  • n. In architecture, the wind of the bed-joint of every course of voussoirs in a skew arch.
  • n. In rope, cordage, and the like, the way in which the spiral strands are laid, the number of strands, the degree of turn of the spiral, etc.; as, these two ropes differ in their twist.
  • n. A convolution; a curve; a flexure; a bend or turn.
  • n. A turning about, as on a pivot or axis; a turn; a twirl.
  • n. A wresting out of place; distortion; a wrench; a strain.
  • n. Figuratively, a peculiar bent, turn, or cast; a variation or perversion from the usual or normal type.
  • n. An appetite for food.
  • n. A mixed drink: generally named from the spirit with which it is compounded.
  • n. In dynamics, a twist-velocity.
  • n. In mathematics:
  • n. A torsional strain or distortion.
  • n. A displacement along and around a screw; a translation combined with a rotation round an axis parallel to the direction of translation; in the non-Euclidean geometry, a compound of two rotations about conjugate polars to the absolute.

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

  • n. the act of rotating rapidly
  • n. any clever maneuver
  • n. a hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair
  • n. a sharp strain on muscles or ligaments
  • n. turning or twisting around (in place)
  • v. turn in the opposite direction
  • v. practice sophistry; change the meaning of or be vague about in order to mislead or deceive
  • n. a jerky pulling movement
  • v. extend in curves and turns
  • v. twist suddenly so as to sprain
  • n. an unforeseen development
  • v. do the twist
  • v. cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form
  • v. form into a spiral shape
  • n. a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind resulting when the current of a fluid doubles back on itself
  • n. a sharp bend in a line produced when a line having a loop is pulled tight
  • n. social dancing in which couples vigorously twist their hips and arms in time to the music; was popular in the 1960s
  • n. the act of winding or twisting
  • v. form into twists
  • n. an interpretation of a text or action
  • v. to move in a twisting or contorted motion, (especially when struggling)
  • v. twist or pull violently or suddenly, especially so as to remove (something) from that to which it is attached or from where it originates
  • n. a circular segment of a curve


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

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.



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  • frequentative form is twizzle?

    September 21, 2011

  • Let's twist again ...

    October 21, 2008

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

    April 6, 2008

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

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

    February 25, 2008

  • "like we did last summer"

    February 24, 2008

  • 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

  • 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

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

    April 1, 2007