- To move your body when you get an electric shock is an example of writhe.
- To feel deep sadness after hearing a loved one died is an example of writhe.
transitive verbwrithed, writh′ing
Origin of writheMiddle English writhen from Old English writhan, to twist, wind about, akin to Old Norse r?tha from Indo-European base an unverified form wer-, to bend, twist from source wreath, wry
- to make twisting or turning movements; contort the body, as in agony; squirm
- to suffer great emotional distress, as from embarrassment or revulsion
verbwrithed, writh·ing, writhes
- To make twisting bodily movements, as in pain or struggle.
- To move with a twisting or contorted motion: A snake writhed out of the bushes.
- To suffer emotional or physical distress, as from embarrassment or anguish: “She writhed at the bare idea that he might pay court to some girl” ( W. Somerset Maugham )
Origin of writheMiddle English writhen from Old English wrīthan ; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present writhes, present participle writhing, simple past writhed or wrothe, past participle writhed or writhen)
- To twist, to wring (something).
- To contort (a part of the body).
- (intransitive) To twist or contort the body; to be distorted.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.