adj. wri·er (rīər), wri·est (rīĭst) or wry·er or wry·est
1. Funny in an understated, sarcastic, or ironic way: a wry sense of humor.
2. Temporarily twisted in an expression of distaste or displeasure: made a wry face.
3. Archaic Abnormally twisted or bent to one side; crooked: a wry nose.
[From Middle English wrien, to turn, from Old English wrīgian; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.