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writhe in (something)
1. To move in twisting, contorted, or squirming motions within something. I looked at the worms writhing in the tub of dirt and nearly got sick. There were about 200 people writhing in the mosh pit at the heavy metal concert.
2. To suffer intense physical or mental distress as a result of some physical or emotional stimulus. The patient writhed in pain as the disease made its way up her spinal column. The audience sat in their chairs writhing in discomfort during the gory film.
writhe under (something)
1. To move in twisting, contorted, or squirming motions due to the pain of some kind of physical assault. I'll never forget the sight of my brother writhing under the blows from our father's belt. The soldier writhed under the lash of his captors' whips.
2. To suffer intense mental distress as a result of some oppressive external force. The troublesome boys began to writhe under the stern eye of their teacher. I could tell she was writhing under all the attention being focused on her. Tom writhed under the boss's insults during the meeting, but didn't utter a word.
writhe with (something)
1. To contain people or things moving in twisting, contorted, or squirming motions. I looked at the tub of dirt writhing with worms and nearly got sick. The mosh pit at the heavy metal concert writhed with about 200 people dancing their guts out.
2. To suffer intense physical or mental distress as a result of some physical or emotional stimulus. The patient writhed with pain as the disease made its way up her spinal column. The audience sat in their chairs writhing with discomfort during the gory film.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
writhe under something
1. . Lit. to squirm with pain from being beaten with something. The sailor writhed under the sting of the lash. The child writhed under the pain of his spanking.
2. . Fig. to suffer under a mental burden. I writhed under her constant verbal assault and finally left the room. Why do I have to writhe under her insults?
writhe with something
1. . and writhe in something [for someone or an animal] to squirm because of something, such as pain. Carl writhed with pain and began to cry. He was writhing in pain when the paramedics arrived.
2. . [for something] to support or contain something that is writhing. The pit was writhing with snakes and other horrid things. The floor of the basement was writhing in spiders and crawly things.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.