- verb to change the shape of something by bending or turning it, or to bend or turn into another shape
- verb to wind something around something else
- noun a disease of cereals and grasses which causes malformation of the leaves and stalks due to the growth of internal fungus. This may prevent the ear emerging from its sheath (Dilophospora alopecuri).
- The distortion from a flat plane caused by the turning or winding of the edges of a board.
- noun movement imparted to the ball by the bowler which makes it change direction after pitching; spinCitation ‘According as the axis of rotation … is horizontal or oblique, so it will have, upon reaching the ground, the bias, or “twist”, as it is called’ (Felix 1850)
- verb to spin the ball, or (of the ball) to change direction after pitching as a result of spin
- noun a girl or attractive young woman. This term, used typically by underworld or working-class speakers, is a rare example of American rhyming slang, from ‘twist and twirl’: girl.
- noun a painful wrench or pull in a wrist, ankle or another body part
- noun a complete turn of the body around a vertical axis, e.g. in gymnastics or diving
Origin & History of “twist”
Twist appears to come ultimately from prehistoric Germanic base *twi- ‘double’, which also underlies English twice, twig, twin, etc. In Old English it is found only in compound words, denoting such things as ‘rope’ (presumably originally made from ‘two’ strands) and ‘forked objects’. It does not appear as an independent word until the 14th century, by which time its association with ‘rope’ had given it the sense ‘wrench, wind’.