Simple Definition of cringe
: to feel disgust or embarrassment and often to show this feeling by a movement of your face or body
: to make a sudden movement from fear of being hit or hurt
Full Definition of cringe
1 : to draw in or contract one's muscles involuntarily (as from cold or pain)
2 : to shrink in fear or servility
3 : to behave in an excessively humble or servile way
4 : to recoil in distaste <Americans cringed … at the use of a term now regarded as a slur — William Safire>
Examples of cringe in a sentence
Many English teachers cringe when their students use the word “ain't.”
I always cringe when I hear that song.
Just the thought of eating broccoli makes me cringe.
The dog cringed at the noise.
Origin of cringe
Middle English crengen; akin to Old English cringan to yield, Middle High German krank weak
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of cringe
Definition of cringe
: a cringing act; specifically : a servile bow
First Known Use of cringe
CRINGE Defined for Kids
Definition of cringe for Students
1 : to shrink in fear : cower <… when you see a dog cringe … You know somebody's been kicking at him. — Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh>
2 : to show disgust or embarrassment at something <He cringed at the suggestion of eating liver.>
Seen and Heard
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