- to twist the body about, or squirm, as in pain, violent effort, etc.
- to shrink mentally, as in acute discomfort.
- to twist or bend out of shape or position; distort; contort.
- to twist (oneself, the body, etc.) about, as in pain.
- a writhing movement; a twisting of the body, as in pain.
Origin of writhe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for writhe
While the presidential guards let him writhe in pain on the pavement, people came to help him up.Ahmadinejad Ducks a Shoe Thrower
March 15, 2009
Is it that he might writhe in the nightmare, or suffer agony from cramps?Maurice Tiernay Soldier of Fortune
Charles James Lever
They began to writhe about his limbs, but drew no sound to vie with their crackling.Dreamers of the Ghetto
Somehow it all made me writhe, agitated me so that I could hardly keep my seat.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
Writhe away or not as you please,” thought the poor man, “but pay me my copeck!Russian Fairy Tales
W. R. S. Ralston
As he spoke the psychic began to toss and writhe and moan pitifully.The Shadow World
- to twist or squirm in or as if in pain
- (intr) to move with such motions
- (intr) to suffer acutely from embarrassment, revulsion, etc
- the act or an instance of writhing
Word Origin and History for writhe
Old English wriðan "to twist or bend," earlier "to bind or fetter," from Proto-Germanic *writhanan (cf. North Frisian wrial, Old High German ridan, Old Norse riða, Middle Swedish vriþa, Middle Danish vride), from PIE *wreit- "to turn, bend" (see wreath). Related: Writhed; writhing.