- 1 [reporting verb] Say something in answer to a remark or accusation, typically in a sharp, angry, or wittily incisive manner: [with direct speech]: “No need to be rude,” retorted Isabel [with clause]: he retorted that this was nonsense [no object]: I resisted the urge to retortMore example sentences
- It takes every ounce of self-control that I have to not retort back with a scathing remark about what a fool she is.
- When he had pulled out of a film, it was said that he was a victim of stress, but he refuted those claims, retorting that he simply hadn't wanted to do a movie at that point.
- Patient and genial, Ms. Sandhya took the children into confidence from the very start, retorting with jokes, poetry and the occasional repartee to drive home a point.
- 2 [with object] • archaic Repay (an insult or injury): it was now his time to retort the humiliationMore example sentences
- This enraged his domestics, who retorted the insult by blows.
- Pipes, though a little disconcerted, far from being disabled by the blow, in a trice retorted the compliment with his truncheon.
- 2.1Turn (an insult or accusation) back on the person who has issued it: he was resolute to retort the charge of treason on his foesMore example sentences
- When confronted about Fischer's comments in interviews, Amis retorted with some insults of his own.
- He was relentless on verbal observations about her body, and she had begun to pick up the habit of grinding her teeth in order to save her from retorting an obscenity back at him.
- It is human nature that if you are insulted by someone, you will retort the insult.
- 2.2Use (an opponent’s argument) against them: the answer they make to us may very easily be retortedMore example sentences
- Japanese historian Kajimura Hideki, who passed away in 1989, retorted the argument that Dokdo belongs to Japan by suggesting diverse historical articles in his paper released on the Review of Korean Studies.
nounBack to top
- A sharp, angry, or wittily incisive reply to a remark: she opened her mouth to make a suitably cutting retortMore example sentences
- Andra had to literally bite her tongue to hold back the sharp retort quickly forming there.
- Cordelia rolled her eyes, but was too tired to give a scathing retort.
- Well, for once in my life, I didn't have a clever retort.
late 15th century (in the sense 'hurl back (an accusation or insult)'): from Latin retort- 'twisted back, cast back', from the verb retorquere, from re- 'in return' + torquere 'to twist'.
- 1A container or furnace for carrying out a chemical process on a large or industrial scale.More example sentences
- The smelters will require 25000 tons of charcoal per annum which will be produced in retorts supplied by the Belgium company, Lambiotte.
- In the factory there were a number of iron retorts, and with them several tons of pitch were also distilled.
- Ore has been processed in large retorts in the past, but most recent operations use several types of furnaces.
- 2 • historical A glass container with a long neck, used in distilling liquids and other chemical operations.More example sentences
- Retorts are the most employed of any kind of distilling vessels in the practice of modern chemistry, having in England almost superseded the use of all others.
- The first experiments with the caustic potash purification had been conducted in glass retorts, but they were less successful when scaled up.
verb[with object] Back to top
- Heat in a retort in order to separate or purify: the raw shale is retorted at four crude oil worksMore example sentences
- The furnace which was used to retort the ore was previously taken off location so little or no above ground structures were left.
- The in situ process may not require mine workings or large surface plant facilities to crush and retort the shale, and it avoids the necessity of removing overburden and waste shale to dumps with its consequent environmental problems.
early 17th century: from French retorte, from medieval Latin retorta, feminine past participle of retorquere 'twist back' (with reference to the long recurved neck of the laboratory container).