Meaning of RETORT in English


I. rə̇ˈtȯ(ə)r]t, rēˈ-, -ȯ(ə)], usu ]d.+V\ verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Latin retortus, past participle of retorquēre to turn back, bend back, retort, from re- + torquēre to bend, twist — more at torture

transitive verb

1. : to pay, cast, or hurl back : return , repay

retort an accusation

retort a wrong

retort a censure

retort an incivility

2. : to make a like reply to : answer in kind : say in reply

will retort the question … by another question — Sir Winston Churchill

triumph on being able to retort … the comfort of having a daughter well married — Jane Austen

“it is false,” he retorted

3. : to answer or meet (as an argument) by a counter argument of a like kind


a. obsolete : to throw back (as a spear) : reverberate

retort sound

: reflect

retort heat

b. : to turn, twist, or curve back

our driver's head was retorted to harangue the back seat — Christopher Morley

intransitive verb

1. obsolete : to turn or spring back : recoil

2. : to make retort : return an argument or charge

I retort upon the ethnologists — A.T.Quiller-Couch

retorted upon the teasers, without stammering — Arnold Bennett

3. : retaliate

retorted with worse revenge of his own sort — Arthur Morrison

there exists in the animals the impulse to retort upon offenders — Samuel Alexander

Synonyms: see answer

II. noun

( -s )

1. : a quick sharp witty cutting or severe reply ; especially : one that turns the first speaker's statement or argument against him or counters it

make some quick retort that silenced her tormenters — T.S.Eliot

wrote an article in the Standard (as a retort to my criticism of her) — Arnold Bennett

2. : the act or practice of making retorts

the retort courteous — Shakespeare

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle French retorte, from Medieval Latin retorta, from feminine of Latin retortus, past participle of retorquēre to bend back; from its bent shape

1. : a vessel in which substances are subjected to distillation or decomposition by heat and which may be made in various forms and of various materials for different uses: as

a. : a bulb of glass or metal with a curved or slanting beak to enter a receiver for general chemical operations

b. : a long semicylinder now usually of fireclay or silica for the manufacture of coal gas

2. : magazine 5b


IV. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to treat (as oil shale) by heating in a retort

2. : autoclave

retort canned food

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.