- The definition of a retort is a quick or witty reply.
An example of a retort is a what a person would say if they were mocking someone back who just mocked her.
- Retort is defined as to reply to something, often in a witty or sarcastic way that turns the comment back to the previous speaker.
An example of retort is to talk back to someone making fun of another.
retort definition by Webster's New World
- to turn (an insult, epithet, deed, etc.) back upon the person from whom it came
- to answer (an argument, etc.) in kind
- to say in reply or response
Origin: ; from Classical Latin retortus, past participle of retorquere, to twist back ; from re-, back plush torquere, to twist: see tort
- a quick, sharp, or witty reply, esp. one that turns the words of the previous speaker back upon that speaker
- the act or practice of making such reply
- a container, generally of glass and with a long tube, in which substances are distilled, as in a laboratory
- a vessel in which ore is heated to extract a metal, coal is heated to produce gas, etc.
Origin: French retorte ; from Midieval Latin retorta ; from Classical Latin feminine of retortus: see retort
retort definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb re·tort·ed, re·tort·ing, re·torts verb, transitive
- a. To reply, especially to answer in a quick, caustic, or witty manner. See Synonyms at answer.b. To present a counterargument to.
- To return in kind; pay back.
- To make a reply, especially a quick, caustic, or witty one.
- To present a counterargument.
- To return like for like; retaliate.
- A quick incisive reply, especially one that turns the first speaker's words to his or her own disadvantage.
- The act or an instance of retorting.
Origin: Latin retorquēre, retort-, to bend back, retort : re-, re- + torquēre, to bend, twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
- re·tortˈer noun
Origin: French retorte, from Medieval Latin retorta, from feminine of Latin retortus, past participle of retorquēre, to bend back; see retort1.
retort - Medical Definition
retort - Science Definition