• IPA: /twɪst/, [tw̥ɪst]

twist (plural twists)

  1. A twisting force.
  2. Anything twisted, or the act of twisting.
    • 1906, Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children Chapter 8
      Peter was always proud afterwards when he remembered that, with the Bargee's furious fingers tightening on his ear, the Bargee's crimson countenance close to his own, the Bargee's hot breath on his neck, he had the courage to speak the truth.
      "I wasn't catching fish," said Peter.
      "That's not your fault, I'll be bound," said the man, giving Peter's ear a twist—not a hard one—but still a twist.
    • Not the least turn or twist in the fibres of any one animal which does not render them more proper for that particular animal's way of life than any other cast or texture.
  3. The form given in twisting.
    • [He] shrunk at first sight of it; he found fault with the length, the thickness, and the twist.
  4. The degree of stress or strain when twisted.
  5. A type of thread made from two filaments twisted together.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      the thrid / By griesly Lachesis was spun with paine, / That cruell Atropos eftsoones vndid, / With cursed knife cutting the twist in twaine […]
  6. A sliver of lemon peel added to a cocktail, etc.
    • 2005, Theodore J. Albasini, The Progeny
      Bunny sat on the only remaining stool at the leather-padded oval bar in the Iron Lounge. It was happy hour, two drinks for the price of one. She decided on a martini with a twist, and while the bartender was preparing her drink, she scanned the faces looking at the bar.
  7. A sudden bend (or short series of bends) in a road, path, etc.
  8. A distortion to the meaning of a word or passage.
  9. An unexpected turn in a story, tale, etc.
  10. A type of dance characterised by rotating one’s hips. See Twist (dance) on Wikipedia for more details.
  11. A rotation of the body when diving.
  12. A sprain, especially to the ankle.
  13. (obsolete) A twig.
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1374) Troilus & Criseyde, page 1181: “As a-bowte a tre with many a twyste Bytrent and wryþe the soote wode bynde.”
  14. (slang) A girl, a woman.
    • 1990, Miller's Crossing, 01:08:20
      (Dane, speaking about a woman character) "I'll see where the twist flops"
  15. (obsolete) A roll of twisted dough, baked.
  16. A small roll of tobacco.
  17. A material for gun barrels, consisting of iron and steel twisted and welded together.
    Damascus twist
  18. The spiral course of the rifling of a gun barrel or a cannon.
  19. (obsolete, slang) A beverage made of brandy and gin.
  20. A strong individual tendency or bent; inclination.
    a twist toward fanaticism
  21. (slang, archaic) An appetite for food.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: twist
  • German: Twist
  • Portuguese: twist
  • Russian: твист
Translations Verb

twist (twists, present participle twisting; past and past participle twisted)

  1. To turn the ends of something, usually thread, rope etc., in opposite directions, often using force.
  2. To join together by twining one part around another.
    • 1900, L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 15
      "Well, one day I went up in a balloon and the ropes got twisted, so that I couldn't come down again. It went way up above the clouds, so far that a current of air struck it and carried it many, many miles away. For a day and a night I traveled through the air, and on the morning of the second day I awoke and found the balloon floating over a strange and beautiful country."
  3. To contort; to writhe; to complicate; to crook spirally; to convolve.
    • June 8, 1714, Alexander Pope, letter to Jonathan Swift
      twisting it into a serpentine form.
  4. To wreathe; to wind; to encircle; to unite by intertexture of parts.
    • longing to twist bays with that ivy
    • There are pillars of smoke twisted about wreaths of flame.
  5. (reflexive) To wind into; to insinuate.
    Avarice twists itself into all human concerns.
  6. To turn a knob etc.
  7. To distort or change the truth or meaning of words when repeating.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Exodus 23:8 ↗:
      And you will not take a bribe, because a bribe will blind the alert, and will twist the words of the righteous.
  8. To form a twist (in any of the above noun meanings).
  9. To injure (a body part) by bending it in the wrong direction.
    • 1913, George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion (play) Act V
      Oh, you are a devil. You can twist the heart in a girl as easy as some could twist her arms to hurt her. Mrs. Pearce warned me. Time and again she has wanted to leave you; and you always got round her at the last minute. And you don't care a bit for her. And you don't care a bit for me.
    • 1901, Henry Lawson, Joe Wilson's Courtship
      Then Romany went down, then we fell together, and the chaps separated us. I got another knock-down blow in, and was beginning to enjoy the novelty of it, when Romany staggered and limped.
      ‘I’ve done,’ he said. ‘I’ve twisted my ankle.’ He’d caught his heel against a tuft of grass.
  10. (intransitive, of a path) To wind; to follow a bendy or wavy course; to have many bends.
    • 1926, H. P. lovecraft, He
      My coming to New York had been a mistake; for whereas I had looked for poignant wonder and inspiration in the teeming labyrinths of ancient streets that twist endlessly from forgotten courts and squares and waterfronts to courts and squares and waterfronts equally forgotten, and in the Cyclopean modern towers and pinnacles that rise blackly Babylonian under waning moons, I had found instead only a sense of horror and oppression which threatened to master, paralyze, and annihilate me.
  11. (transitive) To cause to rotate.
    • 1911, John Masefield, Jim Davis Chapter 8
      The tide seized us and swept us along, and in the races where this happened there were sucking whirlpools, strong enough to twist us round.
  12. (intransitive) To dance the twist (a type of dance characterised by twisting one's hips).
  13. (transitive) To coax.
    • 1932, Robert E. Howard, Dark Shanghai
      "On the three-thousand-dollar reward John Bain is offerin' for the return of his sister," said Ace. "Now listen--I know a certain big Chinee had her kidnapped outa her 'rickshaw out at the edge of the city one evenin'. He's been keepin' her prisoner in his house, waitin' a chance to send her up-country to some bandit friends of his'n; then they'll be in position to twist a big ransome outa John Bain, see? [...]"
  14. (card games) In the game of blackjack (pontoon or twenty-one), to be dealt another card.
Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: girar
  • Russian: (imperfective) верте́ть
  • German: verdrehen
  • Portuguese: distorcer
  • Russian: (imperfective) искажа́ть
  • Spanish: sacar punta a (colloquial)

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