Word of the Day

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

writhen

\rith-uhn\ , adjective;
1.
Archaic. twisted.
Quotes:
The huge park held an enchanted forest of trees; the long avenue of giant limes, their writhen limbs arching and interlocking, their writhen roots deep in velvet moss, was an approach suited to a fairy story.
-- Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Methods of Lady Walderhurst, 1901
They were like the roots of a huge tree uncovered, the earth broken momentarily upon the writhen, thick, fetid tangle of its lightless and outraged life.
-- William Faulkner, "Red Leaves," These 13, 1931
Origin:
Writhen has been in English since before 900. It is related to the Old English verb wrīthan meaning "to twist, wind" which in turn is a cognate with the Old Norse rītha meaning "to knit, twist."
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