Word of the Day

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


\rith-uhn\ , adjective;
Archaic. twisted.
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
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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