Writhe (?), v. t. [imp. Writhed (?); p. p. Writhed, Obs. or Poetic Writhen (); p. pr. & vb. n. Writhing.] [OE. writhen, AS. wrian to twist; akin to OHG. ridan, Icel. ria, Sw. vrida, Dan. vride. Cf. Wreathe, Wrest, Wroth.]


To twist; to turn; now, usually, to twist or turn so as to distort; to wring.

"With writhing [turning] of a pin."


Then Satan first knew pain, And writhed him to and fro. Milton.

Her mouth she writhed, her forehead taught to frown. Dryden.

His battle-writhen arms, and mighty hands. Tennyson.


To wrest; to distort; to pervert.

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


To extort; to wring; to wrest.

[R.]<-- ; extract -->

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


© Webster 1913.

Writhe, v. i.

To twist or contort the body; to be distorted; as, to writhe with agony. Also used figuratively.

After every attempt, he felt that he had failed, and writhed with shame and vexation. Macaulay.


© Webster 1913.