One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1literary Twisted or contorted out of normal shape or form.
- ‘The mist spreads, smooth despite its writhen mass, dividing neatly and travelling down in four directions.’
- ‘It's afternoon, about a quarter to one, and the sparrows abound, alighting in the numerous olive trees twisting in writhen contortion round the flanks of the pavilion.’
- ‘Gwyneth stopped for a moment along the writhen and narrow forest path, ‘Something isn't right Evelyn…‘’
2(of antique glass or silver) having spirally twisted ornamentation.
- ‘Among these may be mentioned the writhen knop dating from about 1550.’
- ‘This small corkscrew has a green-stained ivory handle and a silver shank with beaded and writhen fluted decoration.’
Old English in the sense ‘plaited, entwined’, archaic past participle of writhe.
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