Definition of writhen in English:


(also wrythen)


  • 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.