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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.