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Definition marked by repeated turns and bends


highly complex or intricate
  • A tortuous road up the mountain
  • Tortuous legal procedures
  • His tortuous reasoning
  • 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
  • tortuously = with repeated turns and bends
  • They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.  --  Letter from a Birmingham Jail
  • tortuous = complex or with repeated bends and turns
  • 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
  • tortuous = marked by repeated turns and bends
  • 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
  • He knew the fine old cities already as though he had trodden their tortuous streets from childhood.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • 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
  • It was gravel on rock bottom, tortuous, but open, with infrequent and shallow downward steps.
    Zane Grey  --  The Rainbow Trail
  • 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
  • Pathfinder was as simple as the Quartermaster was practised; he was as sincere as the other was false, and as direct as the last was tortuous.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • That is the tortuous method preferred, in each of the meanderings of his indefatigable novel, by the oblique Ts'ui Pên.
    Jorge Luis Borges  --  The Garden of Forking Paths
  • The second way was tortuous.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • Slowly, tortuously, he at last began to write an answer.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • 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
  • 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
  • The streets were narrow, tortuous, and mostly evil-smelling, with a mixture of stale fish and damp cellar odours.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • 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
  • Tortuously, through Baig, Mortenson explained his wife was expecting him home in a few days, and that all CAI projects had to be approved by the board.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea

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