1. Archaic. twisted.
The huge park held an enchanted forest of trees; the long avenue of giant limes, their writhen limbs arching and interlocking, their writhen roots deep in velvet moss, was an approach suited to a fairy story.
— Frances Hodgson Burnett , The Methods of Lady Walderhurst , 1901
They were like the roots of a huge tree uncovered, the earth broken momentarily upon the writhen , thick, fetid tangle of its lightless and outraged life.
— William Faulkner , “Red Leaves,” These 13 , 1931
Writhen has been in English since before 900. It is related to the Old English verb wrīthan meaning “to twist, wind” which in turn is a cognate with the Old Norse rītha meaning “to knit, twist.”