- 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.
- 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: Fr retorte from Midieval Latin retorta from L, feminine of retortus: see retort
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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
Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.