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writhe

[rahyth]
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verb (used without object), writhed, writh·ing.
  1. to twist the body about, or squirm, as in pain, violent effort, etc.
  2. to shrink mentally, as in acute discomfort.
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verb (used with object), writhed, writh·ing.
  1. to twist or bend out of shape or position; distort; contort.
  2. to twist (oneself, the body, etc.) about, as in pain.
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noun
  1. a writhing movement; a twisting of the body, as in pain.
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Origin of writhe

before 900; Middle English writhen (v.), Old English wrīthan to twist, wind; cognate with Old Norse rītha to knit, twist; akin to wreath, wry
Related formswrith·er, nounwrith·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedwraith wreath wreathe writhe

Synonyms

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1. thresh, flail, contort, wriggle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for writhed

writhe

verb
  1. to twist or squirm in or as if in pain
  2. (intr) to move with such motions
  3. (intr) to suffer acutely from embarrassment, revulsion, etc
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noun
  1. the act or an instance of writhing
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Derived Formswrither, noun

Word Origin

Old English wrīthan; related to Old High German rīdan, Old Norse rītha. See wrath, wreath, wrist, wroth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for writhed

writhe

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper