Etymology: Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch twisten, from twist twine, discord, quarrel; akin to Old English -twist (in candeltwist candlesnuffers, mæsttwist twin support for a mast), Middle English twisten to be forked, Middle High German zwist quarrel, Old English twi- twi-
Date: 15th century
a. to unite by winding <twisting strands together> b. to make by twisting strands together <twist thread from yarn> c. to mingle by interlacing 2. twine, coil 3. a. to wring or wrench so as to dislocate or distort; especially sprain <twisted my ankle> b. to alter the meaning of ; distort, pervert <twisted the facts> c. contort <twisted his face into a grin> d. to pull off, turn, or break by torsion <twist the nut off the bolt> e. to cause to move with a turning motion <twisted her chair to face the fire> f. to form into a spiral shape g. to cause to take on moral, mental, or emotional deformity <celebrity has twisted their sense of decorum> h. to make (one's way) in a winding or devious manner to a destination or objective intransitive verb 1. to follow a winding course ; snake 2. a. to turn or change shape under torsion b. to assume a spiral shape c. squirm, writhe d. to dance the twist 3. of a ball to rotate while taking a curving path or direction 4. turn 3a <twisted around to see behind him> II. noun Date: 1555 1. something formed by twisting or winding: as a. a thread, yarn, or cord formed by twisting two or more strands together b. a strong tightly twisted sewing silk c. a baked piece of twisted dough d. tobacco leaves twisted into a thick roll e. a strip of citrus peel used to flavor a drink 2. a. an act of twisting ; the state of being twisted b. a dance performed with strenuous gyrations especially of the hips c. the spin given the ball in any of various games d. a spiral turn or curve e. (1) torque or torsional stress applied to a body (as a rod or shaft) (2) torsional strain (3) the angle through which a thing is twisted 3. a. a turning off a straight course b. eccentricity, idiosyncrasy c. a distortion of meaning or sense 4. a. an unexpected turn or development <weird twists of fate — W. L. Shirer> b. a clever device ; trick <questions demanding special twists of thinking — New Yorker> c. a variant approach or method ; gimmick <a kind of twist on the old triangle theme — Dave Fedo> 5. a front or back dive in which the diver twists sideways a half or full turn before entering the water • twisty adjective
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.