Definitions for: Retort


[n] a vessel where substances are distilled or decomposed by heat
[n] a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one); "it brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher"
[v] answer back



Webster (1913) Definition: Re*tort", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Retorted; p. pr. & vb.
n. Retorting.] [L. retortus, p. p. of retorquere; pref. re-
re- + torquere to turn twist. See Torsion, and cf.
Retort, n., 2.]
1. To bend or curve back; as, a retorted line.

With retorted head, pruned themselves as they
floated. --Southey.

2. To throw back; to reverberate; to reflect.

As when his virtues, shining upon others, Heat them
and they retort that heat again To the first giver.
--Shak.

3. To return, as an argument, accusation, censure, or
incivility; as, to retort the charge of vanity.

And with retorted scorn his back he turned.
--Milton.


Re*tort", v. i.
To return an argument or a charge; to make a severe reply.
--Pope.


Re*tort", n. [See Retort, v. t.]
1. The return of, or reply to, an argument, charge, censure,
incivility, taunt, or witticism; a quick and witty or
severe response.

This is called the retort courteous. --Shak.

2. [F. retorte (cf. Sp. retorta), fr. L. retortus, p. p. of
retorquere. So named from its bent shape. See Retort, v.
t.] (Chem. & the Arts) A vessel in which substances are
subjected to distillation or decomposition by heat. It is
made of different forms and materials for different uses,
as a bulb of glass with a curved beak to enter a receiver
for general chemical operations, or a cylinder or
semicylinder of cast iron for the manufacture of gas in
gas works.

Tubulated retort (Chem.), a retort having a tubulure for
the introduction or removal of the substances which are to
be acted upon.

Syn: Repartee; answer.

Usage: Retort, Repartee. A retort is a short and pointed
reply, turning back on an assailant the arguments,
censure, or derision he had thrown out. A repartee is
usually a good-natured return to some witty or
sportive remark.

Synonyms: come back, comeback, counter, rejoin, rejoinder, repay, replication, return, return, riposte, riposte

See Also: alembic, answer, back talk, backtalk, lip, mouth, reply, reply, respond, response, sass, sassing, still, vessel

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