Word Of The Day: Tortuous

hola amigos!

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.)

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2 responses to “Word Of The Day: Tortuous

  1. I was thinking about tortuous vs torturous early on while writing my first novel, and had a perverse impulse to use them together. This developed into the phrase ‘a blinding vortex of tortuous, torturous energies’ and I built a whole climactic scene about this image. Which was a little ironic – I was still writing / sketching the first half of the novel, and suddenly I had a definite plot anchor at the 75% point.

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