Definition of tortuous in English:

tortuous

adjective

  • 1Full of twists and turns.

    ‘the route is remote and tortuous’
    • ‘An aneurysm expands laterally with systole while a tortuous aorta does not.’
    • ‘Long, heavily calcified stenoses in tortuous vessels or at bifurcations and chronic total occlusions are less suitable.’
    • ‘The vessels appear enlarged and tortuous, especially the venous capillaries.’
    • ‘The Ryder Cup trail has often been tortuous, twisting and downright tedious, but the rewards to the Scottish economy are expected to be enormous.’
    • ‘Varicose veins are tortuous, twisted, or lengthened veins.’
    • ‘The nanofiller also creates a tortuous path for the penetration of gaseous vapors and liquids into the polymer.’
    • ‘Neither fascicles of smooth muscle cells nor thick-walled tortuous blood vessels were present.’
    • ‘Several tortuous hypertrophic nerve bundles were also embedded in the fibrous tissue.’
    • ‘It is perhaps all the more dangerous, more labyrinthine, and more tortuous for this reason.’
    • ‘But that proved only the beginning of a long and tortuous road full of false starts and broken promises.’
    • ‘Babies born at 25 weeks and less are at high risk of death, a long, tortuous journey through life, and disability.’
    • ‘The campaign is a long, sometimes tortuous period of time and these qualities help everyone not just survive, but thrive.’
    • ‘It allows us to insert tortuous vessels where flexibility is very important.’
    • ‘He was as tortuous and convoluted as a monkey puzzle tree.’
    • ‘Eventually, after a particularly tortuous twist, the path opened out and they came to the Cave of the Prophet.’
    • ‘These veins are tortuous and bulky, making it virtually impossible to identify the spinal arteries.’
    • ‘A barium enema showed a narrowed, tortuous sigmoid colon with multiple diverticuli and thickening of the bowel wall.’
    • ‘The common carotid artery sometimes follows a very tortuous course, forming one or more distinct loops in the neck.’
    • ‘The splenic vein is not invested in a common sheath with the artery - it is retropancreatic and never tortuous.’
    • ‘They all appear enlarged and have a tortuous course, especially the capillary veins.’
    twisting, winding, curving, curvy, bending, sinuous, undulating, coiling, looping, meandering, serpentine, snaking, snaky, zigzag, convoluted, spiralling, twisty, circuitous, rambling, wandering, indirect, deviating, devious, labyrinthine, mazy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Excessively lengthy and complex.
      ‘a tortuous argument’
      • ‘Instead of destroying their sculptures, managers have to hand their work over to a different group to complete - a tortuous experience.’
      • ‘So it's a very complicated, very complex and tortuous process that we're going through legally here.’
      • ‘They thus engage in a tortuous argument to show that it really wasn't about what the protesters said it was.’
      • ‘The latest meander in this tortuous saga was the concern raised that when the road is finally in place that people would have to pay a toll to use it.’
      • ‘Instead, Brown has treated us to a tortuous, Jesuitical argument so self-contradictory it merits its own reprimand.’
      • ‘Your writings over the past few years have been enormously important as a source of orientation through the tortuous twists and turns of imperialist strategy.’
      • ‘We have been following a sometimes tortuous path through a maze of arguments and definitions.’
      • ‘The classification of tropical karst is highly complex, with a tortuous terminology derived from several languages.’
      • ‘His style, too, is often tortuous and gnomic, and it can be almost impossible to see what he actually means, as the endless discussions of his analysis of the causes of the war show.’
      • ‘The second Presidential Address is similar, though to a modern eye the arguments are even more tortuous.’
      • ‘Its rulers could not have been that lethargic, or its diplomacy so tortuous, for it to have survived for such a long period.’
      • ‘But where does the inquiry go from here after the tortuous and lengthy taking of the evidence?’
      • ‘Yes, I know that it's still hard to know what exactly Bertie says or what he means or what the sum of his winding sentences and tortuous paragraphs amount to.’
      • ‘Then, after tortuous negotiations, the sale fell through.’
      • ‘Paine was careful to contrast the tortuous twists of theology with the pure clarity of deism.’
      • ‘I think long sentences, tortuous sentences, sentences which are unnecessarily full of abstractions.’
      • ‘The plot complications are tortuous, their resolutions unsatisfying and the characters thin.’
      • ‘The route to publication was long and occasionally tortuous, with considerable argument with editors and peer reviewers.’
      • ‘In fact, the argument here is not so tortuous as many to be found amongst the post-modernists.’
      • ‘We had countless tortuous internal meetings to prioritize and slog through the full set of 500 items.’
      convoluted, roundabout, circuitous, indirect, unstraightforward, involved, complicated, complex, confusing, lengthy, overlong, verbose, difficult to follow
      View synonyms

Usage

On the difference between tortuous and torturous, see torturous

Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin tortuosus, from tortus ‘twisting, a twist’, from Latin torquere ‘to twist’.

Pronunciation

tortuous

/ˈtôrCH(o͞o)əs//ˈtɔrtʃ(u)əs/