Watch someone burn themselves on a hot pan, struggle to lift heavy weights, or strain to hoist his leg up over his head and you'll probably notice his writhed lips — twisted in pain.

Writhed comes from the Old English writhan, meaning "make into coils" which is much like what you're doing when contorting yourself or putting yourself in a writhed position. The word writhed is used not just to describe an action but also to describe the quality of people or things. So while a snake writhes on the ground, its writhed body can also lie in a coil in the grass.

Definitions of writhed

adj twisted (especially as in pain or struggle)

writhed lips”
contorted, writhen
having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.