• (RP) IPA: /ˈtɔːt͡ʃuːəs/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈtɔɹt͡ʃuəs/


  1. (often, figurative) Twisted; having many turns; convoluted.
    • 2007 October 6, “Slogging on the Home Front”, editorial in The New York Times,
      It still takes almost half a year for the average veteran’s claim for disability benefits to be decided in a tortuous process that can involve four separate hearings.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, Volume 1, Porter & Coates, p. 243:
      The badger made his dark and tortuous hole on the side of every hill where the copsewood grew thick.
  2. (astrology) Oblique; applied to the six signs of the zodiac (from Capricorn to Gemini) that ascend most rapidly and obliquely.
    • Infortunate ascendent tortuous.
  3. (obsolete) Injurious; tortious.

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