Definition of writhe
1a : to twist into coils or foldsb : to twist so as to distort : wrenchc : to twist (the body or a bodily part) in pain
2 : intertwine
1 : to move or proceed with twists and turns writhed to the music
2 : to twist from or as if from pain or struggling
3 : to suffer keenly
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Examples of writhe in a Sentence
She lay on the floor, writhing in pain.
a nest of writhing snakes
Recent Examples of writhe from the Web
His band, a six-piece ensemble of horns, organ, drum and bass, spun its musical colors like a chameleon writhing through a musical menagerie of southern rock, jamming grooves and ferocious roadhouse blues.
The whole thing begins funny enough as a parody in itself, with shots of writhing, oiled torsos and a catastrophically irresponsible number of candles.
Graham committed to this performance, serving mad face throughout and writhing around on the floor at one point like Britney Spears circa 2001.
Within minutes, a slender, writhing twister was born.
Pro sports leagues being tough to pin down, MLS moving the goalposts again in the near future would be as shrug-inducing as a pro soccer player returning to the fray minutes after writhing on the pitch.
Research revealed that in one bedroom, eight bodies writhed in every congress imaginable.
Inside were nearly two pounds of writhing, translucent baby eels –
Cresting the hill on the Mugello straight his bike's fearsome power almost got away from him, both wheels writhing violently on the tarmac as the rider grappled to decelerate from 220 mph to the 50 mph needed to safely negotiate the corner.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'writhe'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Writhe wound its way to English from the Old English verb wrīthan ("to twist") and is akin to the Old English verb wrigian ("to turn or go"). Wrigian gave us our words wriggle, awry, and wry. When something wriggles it twists from side to side with quick movements, like an earthworm. When something goes awry, its twists or winds off course, or toward catastrophe. Wry can mean "bent or twisted" but now usually implies clever, ironic humor. Nowadays, writhe often suggests the physical contortions one makes when enduring crippling pain or when trying to extract oneself from a tight grasp (as an animal from a predator's claws). Alternatively, it can imply an emotionally wrenching feeling (as of grief or fear) from which one seeks relief.
Origin and Etymology of writhe
Middle English, from Old English wrīthan; akin to Old Norse rītha to twist
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
WRITHE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of writhe for English Language Learners
: to twist your body from side to side
WRITHE Defined for Kids
Definition of writhe for Students
: to twist and turn from side to side She was writhing in pain.
Seen and Heard
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