tortuous – 1) Having many twists, bends or turns; winding 2) Crooked or tricky; involved or complex
- The road over the mountains was long and dangerously tortuous.
A labyrinth is a tortuous maze. The first was built as a prison for the monstrous Minotaur, half bull and half man; only by holding one end of a thread was the heroic Theseus able to enter and slay the Minotaur and then exit. A tortuous problem, a tortuous history, and the tortuous path of a bill through Congress all have many unexpected twists and turns; a tortuous explanation or argument may be too crooked for its own good. (Don’t confuse tortuous with torturous, which means “tortured” or “painfully unpleasant” ; tortuous has nothing to do with torture.)