Word of the Day: twist

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Word of the Day
February 16, 2016
twist (verb, noun)
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Two wires twisted together.
As a verb, twist means 'to change the shape of something by turning it' or 'to wrap something around something else.' It also means 'to turn your body' or 'to turn something from one direction to another.' Figuratively, to twist also means 'to distort the meaning of something'. As a noun, a twist is a sudden change of direction or the act of twisting something around a point.


Example sentences
  • Brenden is a nervous person and likes to twist paper clips while he is on the phone at work.
  • I twisted the dental floss around my finger.
  • Mike heard someone calling him and twisted around to see who it was.
  • I didn't want to wake up the kids so I twisted the doorknob really slowly when I came in.
  • The newspaper twisted the singer's words to make it seem like she didn't like her fans, but it wasn't really true.
  • The road had many twists and I had to drive carefully.
  • Give those screws one more twist to make sure they don't fall off.


Multi-word forms
twist someone's arm (expression): to persuade or force someone to do something they don't want to do. Example: "I didn't want to go to the show, but they twisted my arm."
twist off (phrasal verb, separable): to pull something off by turning it. Example: "It took a lot of strength to twist the lid off that jar."
Did you know?
As a noun, a twist is also an unexpected development in the plot of a film or a book. Example: "It's a great film; the twist at the end came as a real surprise!"
Other forms
twistable (adjective), twistability (noun), twistedly (adverb), twistingly (adverb)
Twist dates back to the first half of the 14th century and comes from the Middle English word twisten, meaning 'to divide,' which derives from twist, meaning 'divided object' or 'rope'; it is a cognate with the Dutch word twisten, meaning 'to quarrel,' and the German word Zwist, meaning 'a quarrel.'
Other info
Twist has several other meanings; check out the full definition!
Twist in other languages
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