retort

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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, 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.
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 container in which material is subjected to high temperatures as part of an industrial manufacturing process, especially during the smelting and forging of metal.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. To heat in a retort.

Anagrams[edit]