Word of the Day : August 17, 2019
tortuous \TOR-chuh-wus\ adjective
1 : marked by repeated twists, bends, or turns : winding
2 a : marked by devious or indirect tactics : crooked, tricky
b : circuitous, involved
Did You Know?
Be careful not to confuse tortuous with torturous. These two words are relatives—both ultimately come from the Latin verb torquere, which means "to twist," "to wind," or "to wrench"—but tortuous means "winding" or "crooked," whereas torturous means "painfully unpleasant." Something tortuous (such as a twisting mountain road) might also be torturous (if, for example, you have to ride up that road on a bicycle), but that doesn't make these words synonyms. The twists and turns that mark a tortuous thing can be literal ("a tortuous path" or "a tortuous river") or figurative ("a tortuous argument" or "a tortuous explanation"), but you should consider choosing a different descriptive term if no implication of winding or crookedness is present.
Aired August 17, 2019
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