twist up

(redirected from twisted themselves up)

twist up

1. To move, progress, or grow upward or up along something in a twisting shape or course. Vines twisted up the side of the house. The pot began to boil, and a wreath of steam started twisting up into the air.
2. To wind, coil, or tangle something very tightly or messily. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "twist" and "up." Often used in the passive construction "get twisted up." I twisted up the pieces of twine to form a simple rope. I hate how easily all the cables behind the TV get twisted up.
3. To alter, distort, or misrepresent the intended meaning of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "twist" and "up." No, that's not what I meant—stop twisting my words up! You can't just twist up the author's words to fit the agenda of your essay.
4. To cause someone or oneself to become extremely confused, befuddled, or uncertain. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "twist" and "up." Today's crossword puzzle is really twisting me up. I think Sarah's boyfriend has twisted her up into thinking she has to stay in that toxic relationship. I've really twisted myself up trying to figure out what to do next in my career.
5. To cause someone or oneself to experience some extremely negative physical or emotional sensation. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "twist" and "up." The cramps in my stomach were twisting me up with a shooting pain. He's been twisting himself up with guilt over the whole thing.
See also: twist, up

twist up

 
1. to move upward in a twisting path. The smoke twisted up into the sky. As the car twisted up the narrow path, we got a good view of the valley.
2. to become twisted. The rope twisted up and had to be unwound.
See also: twist, up