Definition of twist verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//twɪst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//twɪst//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they twist
    BrE BrE//twɪst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//twɪst//
    he / she / it twists
    BrE BrE//twɪsts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//twɪsts//
    past simple twisted
    BrE BrE//ˈtwɪstɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtwɪstɪd//
    past participle twisted
    BrE BrE//ˈtwɪstɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtwɪstɪd//
    -ing form twisting
    BrE BrE//ˈtwɪstɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtwɪstɪŋ//
    Injuries, Materials and properties
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    bend into shape
  1. 1  [transitive] twist something (into something) to bend or turn something into a particular shape Twist the wire to form a circle. Her hair was twisted into a knot on top of her head. See related entries: Materials and properties
  2. 2  [transitive, intransitive] to bend or turn something into a shape or position that is not normal or natural; to be bent or turned in this way twist something (+ adv./prep.) He grabbed me and twisted my arm behind my back. (+ adv./prep.) Her face twisted in anger.
  3. turn body
  4. 3[transitive, intransitive] to turn part of your body around while the rest stays still twist something (+ adv./prep.) He twisted his head around to look at her. (+ adv./prep.) She twisted in her chair when I called her name.
  5. 4  [intransitive, transitive] to turn your body with quick sharp movements and change direction often I twisted and turned to avoid being caught. + adv./prep. She tried unsuccessfully to twist free. twist something/yourself + adv./prep. He managed to twist himself round in the restricted space.
  6. turn with hand
  7. 5  [transitive] twist something (+ adv./prep.) to turn something around in a circle with your hand Twist the knob to the left to open the door. Nervously I twisted the ring on my finger.
  8. of roads/rivers
  9. 6  [intransitive] to bend and change direction often The road twists and turns along the coast. narrow twisting streets a twisting staircase
  10. ankle/wrist/knee
  11. 7  [transitive] twist something to injure part of your body, especially your ankle, wrist or knee, bending it in an awkward way She fell and twisted her ankle. See related entries: Injuries
  12. wind around
  13. 8  [transitive] twist something (+ adv./prep.) to wind something around or through an object She twisted a scarf around her head. The telephone cable has got twisted (= wound around itself).
  14. 9  [intransitive] twist (round/around something) to move or grow by winding around something A snake was twisting around his arm.
  15. facts
  16. 10[transitive] twist something to deliberately change the meaning of what somebody has said, or to present facts in a particular way, in order to benefit yourself or harm somebody else synonym misrepresent You always twist everything I say. The newspaper was accused of twisting the facts.
  17. threads
  18. 11[transitive] twist something (into something) to turn or wind threads, etc. together to make something longer or thicker They had twisted the sheets into a rope and escaped by climbing down it.
  19. Word OriginOld English (as a noun), of Germanic origin; probably from the base of twin and twine. Current verb senses date from late Middle English.Extra examples Amanda nervously twisted her hair. Gently twist off the green stalks. He managed to twist himself free. He twisted sideways to face her. Her black hair was twisted up into a knot on top of her head. Her mouth was twisted out of shape by grief. His face was twisted with rage. His mouth twisted bitterly. I twisted the bandage around his leg. My stomach twisted into knots. Nicola’s face twisted into a grimace of disgust. She badly twisted her ankle on the high jump. She fired again and saw the creature twist violently. She placed her hand on the doorknob and twisted slowly. She twisted slightly in her chair to look up at him. The boy’s leg was twisted back painfully. From the cellar a twisting staircase leads down to the dungeon. He just managed to twist himself around in the tiny space. He twisted his head round to get a glimpse of the other car. Hold your arms out to the sides and twist your upper body. Rachel twisted and turned in her sleep. She twisted in her chair to look. She was nervously twisting the ring on her finger. The bike was just a heap of twisted metal. The prisoner twisted in his seat, trying to free the ropes around his wrists. The riverside district is a warren of narrow, twisting streets. Tim twisted round and glared at her. Try twisting the handle to the right. The telephone cable has got twisted.Idioms
    turn/twist the knife (in the wound)
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    to say or do something unkind deliberately; to make somebody who is unhappy feel even more unhappy Marcia laughed as she twisted the knife still deeper. See related entries: Describing unpleasant traits
    (informal) to persuade or force somebody to do something
    twist/wrap/wind somebody around your little finger
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    (informal) to persuade somebody to do anything that you want She has always been able to twist her parents around her little finger.
    Phrasal Verbstwist somethingoff
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: twist