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Tortuous or Torturous?

What Is the Difference between "Tortuous" and "Torturous"?

homeconfused wordsTortuous or Torturous?
the quick answer

The Quick Answer

Tortuous is used to describe something with many twists and turns, like a country road or the plot of a book.
  • It was difficult to drive on the tortuous road.
Torturous describes something that involves pain or suffering.
  • The 14-hour flight to Sydney was torturous.

Tortuous

The adjective tortuous describes something with repeated twists or turns.

Examples:
  • In cities like Athens, poor houses lined narrow and tortuous streets in spite of luxurious public buildings. (Stephen Gardiner)
  • The path to the referendum promises to be tortuous. (New York Times)

Torturous

The adjective torturous describes something that involves suffering or pain.

Examples:
  • Jealousy would be far less torturous if we understood that love is a passion entirely unrelated to our merits. (Paul Eldridge)
  • Life's experiences, whether they be torturous or excruciatingly wonderful, season you somehow and you learn from them. (Mel Gibson)

A Quick Test



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