winding

winding, sinuous, serpentine, tortuous, flexuous can all mean curving first one way and then another.
Winding, the general and the ordinary term, often implies spiral ascent
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winding stairs

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a winding mountain road

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When applied to things in a horizontal plane it implies little more than weaving from side to side or in and out through soifle length, often without apparent plan
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a winding path through a forest

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a winding cave

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following the serpent lightning's winding track— Shelley

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Sinuous fundamentally suggests frequent departures from a straight or direct line by curving
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streams . . . sinuous or straight, now rapid and now slow— Cowper

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In its extended use where it may imply moral deviation this implication remains strong, but in respect to material things the word tends to stress the presence of curves in every line, bend, and movement and the absence of angularity, awkwardness, or stiffness
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the stealthy terror of the sinuous pard— Thompson

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the sinuous movements of the leading lady

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gardens bright with sinuous rills— Coleridge

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Serpentine implies curving in a pattern suggested by the smooth and flowing curves of a moving snake; it need not imply regularity in the size and shape of the inward and outward curves
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up the heathy waste, [the road] mounts, as you see, in mazes serpentineWordsworth

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As applied to a type of compound curve or to the front of a bureau or sideboard having such a curve the word implies that the bulging or convex curve is in the center.
Tortuous, like sinuous, suggests lack of straightness and directness, but in contrast it stresses the number and intricacy of bendings, twistings, and turnings rather than the constant flow of curves
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the course of the river became more tortuous as we neared its source

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there remained but a tortuous defile for carriages down the center of the street— Hardy

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Flexuous, commoner in technical than general use, basically suggests alternation of gentle opposite curves or an easy zigzag course
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a flexuous leaf margin

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flexuous stems

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In extended use it implies a lack of rigidity in action, and so comes very close to flexible
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[a bacterium that] appears to move by changing the shape of its body which is not rigid but very flexuous and elastic— Biological Abstracts

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René's comings and goings, and each of his flexuous moods— E. P. O'Donnell

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Analogous words: curving, bending, twisting (see CURVE vb): circuitous, *indirect, roundabout: *crooked, devious: meandering (see WANDER)
Antonyms: straight

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Winding — The operation of transferring yarn from one form of package to another, such as winding from hanks to bobbins, from bobbins to cones, from cops to bobbins, etc. The process that follows spinning determines whether winding is necessary or not.… …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • winding up — n. Concluding the affairs of a corporation or partnership that is being liquidated, including paying off debts and distributing the remaining assets. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney… …   Law dictionary

  • Winding — Wind ing, n. 1. A turn or turning; a bend; a curve; flexure; meander; as, the windings of a road or stream. [1913 Webster] To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • winding-up — The process by which a company dies. Under Part IV of the Insolvency Act 1986, there are three separate procedures a members voluntary winding up where a company is solvent, a creditors voluntary winding up for insolvent companies and a… …   Law dictionary

  • Winding — bezeichnet: den Familienname folgender Personen: Andréas Winding (1928–1977), französischer Kameramann Kai Winding (1922–1983), US amerikanischer Jazzposaunist dänischer Herkunft den Namen folgender Person: Nicolas Winding Refn (* 1970),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • winding — [wīn′diŋ] n. 1. the action or effect of a person or thing that winds; specif., a) a sinuous path or course b) [usually pl.] devious methods, actions, etc. c) a coiling, spiraling, or twining d) a single turn 2. something that winds; specif …   English World dictionary

  • Winding — Wind ing, n. [From {Wind} to blow.] (Naut.) A call by the boatswain s whistle. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Winding — Wind ing, a. [From {Wind} to twist.] Twisting from a direct line or an even surface; circuitous. Keble. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • winding — index circuitous, indirect, labyrinthine, sinuous, tortuous (bending) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • winding — [adj] bending, turning ambiguous, anfractuous, circuitous, convoluted, crooked, curving, devious, flexuous, gyrating, indirect, intricate, involved, labyrinthine, mazy, meandering, roundabout, serpentine, sinuous, snaky, spiraling, tortuous,… …   New thesaurus

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