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.’
- ‘Gwyneth stopped for a moment along the writhen and narrow forest path, ‘Something isn't right Evelyn…‘’
- ‘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.’
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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