writhe under

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.
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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?
See also: writhe
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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