a. The act of twisting or turning.
b. The condition of being twisted or turned.
2. The stress or deformation caused when one end of an object is twisted in one direction and the other end is held motionless or twisted in the opposite direction.
[Middle English torcion, wringing pain in the bowels, from Old French torsion, from Late Latin torsiō, torsiōn-, a wringing pain, variant of Latin tortiō, from tortus, past particple of torquēre, to twist; see TORSADE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.