retort

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Latin retortus, from retorquere (to be forced to twist back).

Noun[edit]

retort (plural retorts)

  1. A sharp or witty reply, or one which turns an argument against its originator; a comeback.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

retort (third-person singular simple present retorts, present participle retorting, simple past and past participle retorted)

  1. To say something sharp or witty in answer to a remark or accusation.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, in The Ayrsham Mystery[1]:
      “It is a pity,” he retorted with aggravating meekness, “that they do not use a little common sense. The case resembles that of Columbus'  egg, and is every bit as simple. […]”
  2. To make a remark which reverses an argument upon its originator; to return, as an argument, accusation, censure, or incivility.
    to retort the charge of vanity
    • Milton
      And with retorted scorn his back he turned.
  3. To bend or curve back.
    a retorted line
    • Southey
      With retorted head, pruned themselves as they floated.
  4. To throw back; to reverberate; to reflect.
    • Shakespeare
      As when his virtues, shining upon others, / Heat them and they retort that heat again / To the first giver.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From French retorte.

Retort for distillation

Noun[edit]

retort (plural retorts)

  1. (chemistry) A flask with a rounded base and a long neck that is bent down and tapered, used to heat a liquid for distillation.
    • 1893, A large curved retort was boiling furiously in the bluish flame of a Bunsen burner, and the distilled drops were condensing into a two-litre measure. — Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Naval Treaty’ (Norton 2005, p.670)
  2. A airtight vessel in which material is subjected to high temperatures in the chemical industry or as part of an industrial manufacturing process, especially during the smelting and forging of metal.
  3. A pressure cooker
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

retort (third-person singular simple present retorts, present participle retorting, simple past and past participle retorted)

  1. (transitive) To heat in a retort.

Anagrams[edit]