To see details on the word
please enable javascript.


A tortuous road up the mountain
  marked by repeated turns and bends


highly complex or intricate
 Mark word for later review on this computer
tortuous tortuously
Many confuse tortuous with torturous (concerning torture).
Web Links:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Dictionary -®
Dictionary/Synonyms - Google®
Dictionary List - OneLook®
  • A tortuous road up the mountain
  • Tortuous legal procedures
  • His tortuous reasoning
  • Then he opened the car door on his side and strolled round to my side, his breath shaping tortuous smoke signals in the gray air.
    Sylvia Plath  --  The Bell Jar

  • Show more
  • They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.  --  Letter from a Birmingham Jail
  • On the appointed day, eight of us piled into the boat—five boys plus Chuck and Al, the two new California boys, and I—and started the long, tortuous journey to Bluffton.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • He moved the bucket slightly, so the surface formed a reflecting pool, and pulling his face into the tortuous grimace men use when they shave, began to scrape his cheeks.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • That is a wide region of sluggish fen where the stream becomes tortuous and much divided.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Having reached the summit of his vengeance by a long and tortuous path, he saw an abyss of doubt yawning before him.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Laila rememberedTariq’s hands, soft but strong, the tortuous, full veins on the backs of them, which she had always found soappealingly masculine.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns

  • Show more again
  • But what goes on in the twisted tortuous minds of women would baffle anyone.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • A small, dim, crooked shop, kept in a tortuous, up-hill thoroughfare, by a small, dim, crooked man.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • The second way was tortuous.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • CHAPTER 25 The long, tortuous trail of publishers and translators led Hatter to Christ Church College in Oxford, England.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • Slowly, tortuously, he at last began to write an answer.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • In the toilet, where I used to take the papers, it was tortuous to look for and exclude the unnecessary pages so that I could learn how he would finally outwit his latest adversary.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • In this manner Cosette traversed the labyrinth of tortuous and deserted streets which terminate in the village of Montfermeil on the side of Chelles.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • The next day, after his garbage run, O’Dell borrowed his dad’s truck and he and Sherman and I went up the tortuous trail to one of the big fans that drove air through the mines.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • The streets were narrow, tortuous, and mostly evil-smelling, with a mixture of stale fish and damp cellar odours.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • The two men went along some tortuous passages and up a dark staircase and came to a secluded room where one of the stewards was uncorking bottles for a few gentlemen.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • The pit was still in darkness; the mighty engines, so great and wonderful in their power and complexity, so unearthly in their tortuous forms, rose weird and vague and strange out of the shadows towards the light.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • The boat moved on,—freighted with its weight of sorrow,—up the red, muddy, turbid current, through the abrupt tortuous windings of the Red river; and sad eyes gazed wearily on the steep red-clay banks, as they glided by in dreary sameness.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • But Commander Farragut was unwilling to attempt this tortuous passageway and maneuvered instead to double Cape Horn.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • All the mystery and witchery of the night seemed to have gathered there amid the perfumes and the dusky and tortuous outlines of flowers and foliage.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening
  • There was dancing now on the canvas in the garden; old men pushing young girls backward in eternal graceless circles, superior couples holding each other tortuously, fashionably, and keeping in the corners — and a great number of single girls dancing individualistically or relieving the orchestra for a moment of the burden of the banjo or the traps.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • Strung out for miles in a stricken, tortuous, squirming line, the other flights of planes were making the same hazardous journey over the target, threading their swift way through the swollen masses of new and old bursts of flak like rats racing in a pack through their own droppings.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • XX When Dick got out of the elevator he followed a tortuous corridor and turned at length toward a distant voice outside a lighted door.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • That, in itself, was strange, for in Atlanta every respectable newcomer hastened to present his credentials, to tell proudly of his home and family, to trace the tortuous mazes of relationship that stretched over the entire South.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • The steep one-vehicle road dropped at such a perilous and tortuous slope, I turned around the first chance I could get.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • My head swarmed with tortuous thoughts of Roberta in somebody else’s arms, but it was also my fault.
    Luis J. Rodriguez  --  Always Running
  • The whole family laughed with affection when they thought of Joe trying to learn to plow; his tortuous first furrow wound about like a flatland stream, and his second furrow touched his first only once and then to cross it and wander off.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • At first, her tortuous endurance of second period was funny to me, but after a while, it got kind of annoying, not to mention distracting.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Lock and Key
  • An unguided ramble into its recesses in bad weather is apt to engender dissatisfaction with its narrow, tortuous, and miry ways.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Phaedrus follows a long and tortuous path into the highest abstractions, seems about to come down and then stops.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • She went out of the town by a tortuous back street, and drove slowly along, unconscious of the road and the scene.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Here was a man after his own heart—a tortuous and indirect person playing a hidden game.
    Rudyard Kipling  --  Kim
  • She spoke with the noble directness which she could command on such occasions, and which was like a large steady light thrown across the tortuous darkness of the situation.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • In the middle of a tortuous valley there rises up an immense pinnacle and on the pinnacle are four castles—Las Tours, the Towers.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • As when a ship, by skilful steersmen wrought Nigh river’s mouth or foreland, where the wind Veers oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her sail: So varied he, and of his tortuous train Curled many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve, To lure her eye; she, busied, heard the sound Of rusling leaves, but minded not, as used To such disport before her through the field, From every beast; more duteous at her call, Than at Circean call the herd disguised.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Moreover every shop pitched out half its contents upon trestles and boxes on the kerb, extending the display each week a little further and further into the roadway, despite the expostulations of the two feeble old constables, until there remained but a tortuous defile for carriages down the centre of the street, which afforded fine opportunities for skill with the reins.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • It wore, to his eyes, a tortuous air, and his fault was that he was not quite sure that anything in the world could really be as candid as this request of Miss Stackpole’s appeared.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • That might start Grigorievitch’s mind exploring far too many tortuous channels, and if there had been a leak, he would find it hard enough to clear hiinself The guard saluted as he reentered the administration buildmg.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood’s End
  • Then he plunged down beneath the tortuous vault of the spiral staircase, and once more descended.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • But the story Mahmoud told most often when Zeitoun was growing up, the story he told when forbidding his children to live on the sea, was this one: Mahmoud was returning from Greece on a thirty-six-foot schooner when they ran into a black and tortuous storm.
    Dave Eggers  --  Zeitoun
  • Great disorder consisting of the following items: (1) seven or eight empty cardboard boxes, with tissue-paper tongues hanging panting from their mouths; (2) an assortment of street dresses mingled with their sisters of the evening, all upon the table, all evidently new; (3) a roll of tulle, which has lost its dignity and wound itself tortuously around everything in sight, and (4) upon the two small chairs, a collection of lingerie that beggars description.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • That is the tortuous method preferred, in each of the meanderings of his indefatigable novel, by the oblique Ts’ui PÍn.
    Jorge Luis Borges  --  The Garden of Forking Paths
  • It was gravel on rock bottom, tortuous, but open, with infrequent and shallow downward steps.
    Zane Grey  --  The Rainbow Trail
  • Control had his reasons; they were usually so bloody tortuous it took you a week to work them out.
    John Le Carre  --  The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
  • Joan knew that only an Indian could follow the tortuous and rocky trail by which Kells had brought her in.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
  • In his moment of terrible vision he saw, in the tortuous ways of a thousand alien places, his foiled quest of himself.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
Search for samples from other sources:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Interest -- Source
General -- Google News®
General -- Time® Magazine
General -- Twitter®
Associated words [difficulty]:   tortuous [5]
     If popups are enabled: Search in OneLook®   If Flash® is also enabled: Search in Visuwords®
Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Medicine, Sports
Home . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading