Writhe Writhe, v. t. [imp. {Writhed}; p. p. {Writhed}, Obs. or Poetic {Writhen}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Writhing}.] [OE. writhen, AS. wr[=i]?an to twist; akin to OHG. r[=i]dan, Icel. r[=i]?a, Sw. vrida, Dan. vride. Cf. {Wreathe}, {Wrest}, {Wroth}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To twist; to turn; now, usually, to twist or turn so as to distort; to wring. ``With writhing [turning] of a pin.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Then Satan first knew pain, And writhed him to and fro. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Her mouth she writhed, her forehead taught to frown. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

His battle-writhen arms, and mighty hands. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

2. To wrest; to distort; to pervert. [1913 Webster]

The reason which he yieldeth showeth the least part of his meaning to be that whereunto his words are writhed. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

3. To extort; to wring; to wrest. [R.] [1913 Webster]

The nobility hesitated not to follow the example of their sovereign in writhing money from them by every species of oppression. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Writhe — Writhe, v. i. To twist or contort the body; to be distorted; as, to writhe with agony. Also used figuratively. [1913 Webster] After every attempt, he felt that he had failed, and writhed with shame and vexation. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • writhe — writhe, agonize, squirm are comparable when they mean to twist or turn in physical or mental distress. Writhe regularly carries vivid suggestions of convulsive contortions (as of one in the throes of death, in a paroxysm, in an instrument of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • writhe — [raıð] v [: Old English; Origin: writhan [i] to twist ] to twist your body from side to side violently, especially because you are suffering pain writhe in pain/agony etc ▪ He lay writhing in pain …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • writhe — [ raıð ] verb intransitive to move by twisting and turning, especially when you feel a lot of pain: writhe in pain/agony: He writhed in agony on the ground …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • writhe — index beat (pulsate), contort Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • writhe — (v.) O.E. wriðan to twist or bend, earlier to bind or fetter, from P.Gmc. *writhanan (Cf. N.Fris. wrial, O.H.G. ridan, O.N. riða, M.Swed. vriþa, M.Da. vride), from PIE *wreit to turn, bend (see WREATH (Cf. wreath)). Related …   Etymology dictionary

  • writhe — [v] contort; toss back and forth agonize, bend, distort, jerk, recoil, squirm, struggle, suffer, thrash, thresh, twist, wiggle, wince, worm, wriggle; concepts 80,150 Ant. be still …   New thesaurus

  • writhe — ► VERB ▪ twist or squirm in pain or as if in pain. ORIGIN Old English, «make into coils, plait» …   English terms dictionary

  • writhe — [rīth] vt. writhed, writhing [ME writhen < OE writhan, to twist, wind about, akin to ON rītha < IE base * wer , to bend, twist > WREATH, WRY] to cause to twist or turn; contort vi. 1. to make twisting or turning movements; contort the… …   English World dictionary

  • Writhe — In knot theory, the writhe is a property of an oriented link diagram. The writhe is the total number of positive crossings minus the total number of negative crossings .A direction is assigned to the link at a point in each component and this… …   Wikipedia

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