from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To undo, as anything wreathed; untwine; untwist.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
And a second that is more hard and close, into which the water can very little, or not at all penetrate, this therefore retaining always very neer the same dimensions, and the other stretching and shrinking, according as there is more or less moisture or water in its pores, by reason of the make and shape of the parts, the whole body must necessarily unwreath and wreath it self.
If it be view'd with an ordinary single _Microscope_, it will appear like a small wreath'd Sprig, with two clefts; and if wet as before, and then look'd on with this _Microscope_, it will appear to unwreath it self, and by degrees, to streighten its knee, and the two clefts will become streight, and almost on opposite sides of the small cylindrical body.
Now, as in this Instance of the Beard of a wilde _Oat_, we see there is nothing else requisite to make it wreath and unwreath it self, and to streighten and bend its knee, then onely a little breath of moist or dry
And upon this Principle, it is very easie to make several sorts of contrivances that should thus wreath and unwreath themselves, either by heat and cold, or by driness and moisture, or by any greater or less force, from whatever cause it proceed, whether from gravity or weight, or from wind which is motion of the Air, or from some springing body, or the like.
The lower end of this wreath'd Cylinder being stuck upright in a little soft Wax, so that the bended part or _Index_ of it lay _horizontal_, I have observ'd it always with moisture to unwreath it self from the East (For instance) by the South to the West, and so by the North to the East again, moving with the Sun (as we commonly say) and with heat and drouth to re-twist; and wreath it self the contrary way, namely, from the East, (for instance) by the North to the West, and so onwards.