For all your dictionary needs!
Spelling. Are you looking for Crithe, Krithe, or withe?
Header of writhe


Video footage: bee writhe on the floor
Play/pauseBuy footageFind more

Definition of the noun writhe

What does writhe mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: writhes

  1. [context: knot theory] The number of negative crossings subtracted from the number of positive crossings in a knot

Definition of the verb writhe

What does writhe mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: writhed | writhing | writhes

  1. to move in a twisting or contorted motion, (especially when struggling)
    • examples: The prisoner writhed in discomfort | The crowds writhe in the streets | The streets writhe with crowds
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formulaVerbs with the same syntax
      [Experiencer - being] [Verb]Sharon shiveredVerbs Involving the Body: convulse, cower, quake, quiver, shake, shiver, shudder, tremble
      [Experiencer - being] [Verb] from / at [Cause]Sharon fainted at the sight of the accident | Sharon fainted from hunger | Sharon shivered at the thought of the cold sea | Sharon shivered from fear
      there [Verb] [Theme, indefinite]There fluttered a flag (over the fort)Verbs of Existence: bob, bow, creep, dance, drift, eddy, falter, flap, float, flutter, hover, jiggle, joggle, oscillate, pulsate, quake, quiver, revolve, rock, roil, rotate, shake, stir, sway, swirl, teeter, throb, totter, tremble, undulate, vacillate, vibrate, waft, wave, waver, wiggle, wobble
      [Agent - intentional control] [Verb] [Theme]The patriots waved the flag
      [Theme - concrete object] [Verb]A flag fluttered
      [Theme - concrete object] [Verb] [Locative Preposition] [Location]A flag fluttered over the fort | Bees are swarming in the garden
      [Locative Preposition] [Location] [Verb] [Theme]In the aquarium swam a striped fish | Over the fort fluttered a flag
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonyms of writhe: squirm / twist / worm / wrestle / wriggle
    • more generic word: move = move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
    • more specific word: wrench = make a sudden twisting motion

Alternative definition of the verb writhe


  1. To twist; to turn; now, usually, to twist or turn so as to distort; to wring.
  2. To wrest; to distort; to pervert.
  3. To extort; to wring; to wrest.
  4. [intransitive] To twist or contort the body; to be distorted; as, to writhe with agony (also figuratively).


Writhe: In knot theory, there are several competing notions of the quantity writhe, or Wr. In one sense, it is purely a property of an oriented link diagram and assumes integer values. In another sense, it is a quantity that describes the amount of "coiling" of a mathematical knot in three-dimensional space and assumes real numbers as values. In both cases, writhe is a geometric quantity, meaning that while deforming a curve in such a way that does not change its topology, one may still change its writhe.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Writhe

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewAn Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory (2017)

by Inga Johnson , Allison Henrich

Interestingly, the odd writhe is an invariant for virtual knots. Exercise...

fact about the odd writhe is that J = 0 for all classical knots. In other...

Google previewOn Knots. (AM-115) (2016)

by Louis H. Kauffman

The writhe is a topological invariant for reduced alternating links. (To prove the corollary, just note that —w fK) = a K *S an amk*ent isotopy invariant of K. To prove the theorem, work inductively with the identity L = z (L +L ) L ) using the fact ...

Google previewThe Biochemistry of the Nucleic Acids (2013)

by R.L.P. Adams, John Knowler, David Leader

Lk is made up from two components: writhe (W) and twist (T) such that Lk = W + T Writhe is a measure of the coiling of the axis of the DNA molecule and twist reflects the winding of one DNA strand around the other. If a molecule is fully relaxed, ...

Google previewThe Edge of the Universe (2006)

Celebrating Ten Years of Math Horizons by Deanna Haunsperger, Stephen Kennedy

The writhe is the number of positive crossings minus the number of negative crossings in the diagram. The three ...

Google previewASVAB AFQT For Dummies (2009)

by Rod Powers

Writhe is a verb. It means to twist or wriggle about. . (A) Sonnet is a noun; a sonnet is a specific type of poem. (C) Teeming is a verb (participle) that means filled to the point of overflowing. . (C) Technique is a noun that describes a particular ...

Google previewDictionary of English Etymology (1865)

See Writhe. To Wrestle. AS. wrwstlian, teraxlian, Fris. wraegsiljen, wrakseljen, teragsele, wrassele, Du. wrastelen, wratselen, worstelen, Devon wraxle, Somerset wrassly, to wrestle, to contend by tugging and twisting each other about . The first ...

Google previewAn Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (2012)

by Ernest Weekley

and with wry, writhe; of. AS. wrigian ...

Google previewJohnson's English Dictionary (1835)

by Samuel Johnson

To writhe. Shak. To pinch. Bacon. To sorce by violence; to extort. Shak. To havass; to distress; to torture. Shak. To distort; to turn to a wrong purpose. Ascham. To persecute with extortion. Hayward. To WRING, ring.

Google previewChambers's Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (1876)

by William Chambers

reid, curled, twisted; allied to Writhe.] wrathful, rath'fool, adj., /nil of wrath; very angry; springing from or expressing wrath. — adv. wrath fully. — n. wrath fnlness. wroth, ...

Google previewA Dictionary of the English Language (1828)

In which the Words are Deduced from Their Originals, Explained in Their Different Meanings and Authorized by the Names of the Writers in Whose Works They are Found : in Two Volumes ; to which is Prefixed Johnson's Grammar of the English Language and Annexed a Glossary of Scottish Words and Phrases, which Occur in the Romances and Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott by Samuel Johnson

To WRITHE, v. n. [j>jii7jan, Sax ] 1 . To distort; to deform with distortion. Milton. 2. To twist with violence. Milton. 3.

Google previewA Dictionary of the English Language ... Abstracted from the folio edition of the author ... Fourteenth edition, corrected, etc (1828)

To writhe. Ibid. To pinch. Clarendon. To force by violence; to extort. Milton. To harass 5 to distress ; to torture. Roscommon. To distort; to turn to a wrong purpose. Ascham. To persecute with extortion. Hayward. To WRING. v. n. To writhe with ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Writhe

Click on a label to prioritize search results according to that topic:

Usage statistics about writhe

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb writhe:


Photos about Writhe

Click on an item to view that photo:


If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of A river writhe among meadows covered with snowSmall photo of Mother and daughter sit next to each other and writhe faces.Small photo of bee writhe on the floorSmall photo of bee writhe on the floorSmall photo of A close-up shot of the internal workings of a wave in a rough sea. Large and small droplets and foam writhe and mix to make the scene one of movement and excitement.Small photo of top view of coffee beans in the glass with writhe backgroundSmall photo of guy in natural cold color writhe More...

Video language resources about Writhe

Click on an item to play that video:

See also the pronunciation examples of Writhe!

Quotes about Writhe

I want to see people turn and writhe; make them feel things they cannot see and sometimes do not know. (Anna Held)
more quotes about writhe...

Scrabble value of W4R1I1T1H4E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of WRITHE

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Writhe!

Share this page


Go to the usage examples of Writhe to see it in context!

Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy
Keyword Tool | Romanian-English Dictionary