Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old English
Origin: twist 'rope'


1 verb
twist1 S3


[intransitive and transitive]
a) to turn a part of your body around or change your position by turning:
He twisted his head slightly, and looked up at her.
twist round/around
She twisted round, so that she could see the dog better.
b) if you twist your mouth or features, you smile in an unpleasant way or look angry, disapproving etc:
His mouth twisted in a humourless smile.


[transitive] to bend or turn something, such as wire, hair, or cloth, into a particular shape
twist something into something
She twisted her handkerchief into a knot.
twist something together
Twist the two ends of the wire together.


[transitive always + adverb/preposition] to wind something around or through an object
twist something round/around/through etc something
She twisted a silk scarf round her neck.
Ann twisted some daisies through Katherine's thick brown hair.


[transitive] to turn something in a circle using your hand
twist something off (something)
Jack twisted the cap off the bottle.


[intransitive] if a road, river etc twists, it changes direction in a series of curves:
The road twisted between spectacular mountains.


[transitive] to change the true or intended meaning of a statement, especially in order to get some advantage for yourself:
He's always trying to twist my words and make me look bad.

twist your ankle/wrist/knee

to hurt your wrist etc by pulling or turning it too suddenly while you are moving:
Harriet slipped on the stairs and twisted her ankle.

twist and turn

a) if a path, road, stream etc twists and turns, it has a lot of bends in it:
The river twists and turns through the green fields.
b) if a person or animal twists and turns, they make twisting movements

twist somebody's arm

a) informal to persuade someone to do something they do not want to do:
No one twisted my arm about coming to see you.
b) to bend someone's arm upwards behind their back in order to hurt them:
The policeman twisted my arm behind me and arrested me.

➔ twist/wrap somebody around your little finger

at finger1 (8)

➔ twist the knife (in the wound)

at knife1 (3)
WORD FOCUS: change WORD FOCUS: change
to change something: alter, adapt, adjust, amend, modify, revise, vary

to change a system or organization: restructure, reorganize, reform

to change something completely: transform, revolutionize

to change facts or information, or change what someone has said: twist, distort, misrepresent

easily changed: flexible, adaptable

impossible to change: fixed, final, irrevocable

See also

Dictionary results for "twist"
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