1 highly involved or intricate; "the Byzantine tax structure"; "convoluted legal language"; "convoluted reasoning"; "intricate needlework"; "an intricate labyrinth of refined phraseology"; "the plot was too involved"; "a knotty problem"; "got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering"; "Oh, what a tangled web we weave"- Sir Walter Scott; "tortuous legal procedures"; "tortuous negotiations lasting for months" [syn: Byzantine, convoluted, intricate, involved, knotty, labyrinthine, tangled]
2 marked by repeated turns and bends; "a tortuous road up the mountain"; "winding roads are full of surprises"; "had to steer the car down a twisty track" [syn: twisting, twisty, winding]
3 not straightforward; "his tortuous reasoning"
- This term has strongly negative connotations, perhaps transferred from the similar-sounding adjective torturous.
Gongoresque, Johnsonian, affected, ambagious, ambiguous, anamorphous, anfractuous, askew, asymmetric, bedizened, bent, big-sounding, billowing, billowy, bowed, circuitous, circumlocutory, cockeyed, complicated, contorted, convoluted, convolutional, cranky, crazy, crooked, crumpled, crunched, curled, curling, curvaceous, curvate, curvated, curve, curved, curvesome, curviform, curvilineal, curvilinear, curving, curvy, deceptive, declamatory, deviative, devious, distorted, elevated, euphuistic, flamboyant, flaming, flashy, flaunting, flexuose, flexuous, fulsome, garish, gaudy, geosynclinal, grandiloquent, grandiose, grandisonant, high-flowing, high-flown, high-flying, high-sounding, highfalutin, incurvate, incurvated, incurved, incurving, indirect, inkhorn, intricate, involute, involuted, involutional, involved, irregular, labyrinthine, lexiphanic, lofty, lopsided, lurid, magniloquent, mazy, meandering, meandrous, meretricious, misleading, nonsymmetric, one-sided, orotund, ostentatious, overdone, overelaborate, overinvolved, overwrought, pedantic, pompous, pretentious, recurvate, recurvated, recurved, recurving, rhetorical, rivose, rivulose, roundabout, ruffled, sensational, sensationalistic, sententious, serpentine, showy, sinuate, sinuose, sinuous, snaky, sonorous, sprung, stilted, tall, torsional, tortile, tricky, turning, twisted, twisting, twisty, undulant, unstraightforward, unsymmetric, wandering, warped, wavy, whorled, winding, wreathlike, wreathy, zigzag