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1

cringe

play
verb \ˈkrinj\

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

cringedcring·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to draw in or contract one's muscles involuntarily (as from cold or pain)

  3. 2 :  to shrink in fear or servility

  4. 3 :  to behave in an excessively humble or servile way

  5. 4 :  to recoil in distaste <Americans cringed … at the use of a term now regarded as a slur — William Safire>

cring·er noun

Examples of cringe

  1. Many English teachers cringe when their students use the word ain't.

  2. I always cringe when I hear that song.

  3. Just the thought of eating broccoli makes me cringe.

  4. 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

fawn, toady, truckle, cringe, cower mean to behave abjectly before a superior. fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention <waiters fawning over a celebrity>. toady suggests the attempt to ingratiate oneself by an abjectly menial or subservient attitude <toadying to his boss>. truckle implies the subordination of oneself and one's desires or judgment to those of a superior <truckling to a powerful lobbyist>. cringe suggests a bowing or shrinking in fear or servility <a cringing sycophant>. cower suggests a display of abject fear in the company of threatening or domineering people <cowering before a bully>.

Rhymes with cringe


2

cringe

noun

Definition of cringe

  1. :  a cringing act; specifically :  a servile bow



1597

First Known Use of cringe

1597



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