Tortuous vs Torturous


Tortuous and torturous have entirely different meaning but still the words are often confused with each other. Here we discuss them in detail so that you don’t make a mistake when you use them.



full of twists, turns, or bends; not direct or straightforward, complicated, intricate involving or causing pain or suffering
Both tortuous and torturous come from the Latin word torquere which means “to twist”. If you are a science student then you will easily relate this Latin root to torque.
Modern Usage 
Tortuous is directly related to its Latin root and means twisting. Ex – a tortuous path, a tortuous maze etc. Over the course of time its meaning has been extended and now it also means complicated or intricate. Ex – a tortuous puzzle, a tortuous question etc. Torturous is related to torture and you can connect it to its Latin root as twisting your body parts can be used to torture you. Torturous is used to describe anything that causes or involves torture or suffering. Ex – Walking on the roads of Delhi in the summer season is torturous.
Mnemonic to remember the difference
To not get confused between the words, remember that both torturous and torture have two r’s, unlike tortuous.


Something comes to my mind which is both tortuous and torturous – getting your work done in government offices.



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