2. Not straightforward; circuitous; devious: "The story had a tortuous plot."
"The politician had so much tortuous reasoning that we simply could not believe anything she said."3. Highly involved; complex: "There were so many tortuous legal procedures that it took more than a year before there was a final decision."
2. Twisted; strained: "The mountain roads were torturous and required careful attention in order to drive safely."
Although tortuous and torturous both come from the Latin word torquere, "to twist", their primary meanings are distinct.
Tortuous means "twisting" (a tortuous road) or by extension "complex" or "devious."
Torturous refers primarily to torture and the pain associated with it; however, torturous also can be used in the sense of "twisted" or "strained", and tortured is an even stronger synonym; such as, "tortured reasoning".