Tor"tu*ous (?), a. [OE. tortuos, L.tortuosus, fr.tortus a twisting, winding, fr. torquere, tortum, to twist: cf. F. tortueux. See Torture.]


Bent in different directions; wreathed; twisted; winding; as, a tortuous train; a tortuous train; a tortuous leaf or corolla.

The badger made his dark and tortuous hole on the side of every hill where the copsewood grew thick. Macaulay.


Fig.: Deviating from rectitude; indirect; erroneous; deceitful.

That course became somewhat lesstortuous, when the battle of the Boyne had cowed the spirit of the Jakobites. Macaulay.


Injurious: tortious.


4. Astrol.

Oblique; -- applied to the six signs of the zodiac (from Capricorn to Gemini) which ascend most rapidly and obliquely.



Infortunate ascendent tortuous. Chaucer.

--Tor"tu*ous*ly, adv. -- Tor"tu*ous*ness, n.


© Webster 1913.

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