verb \ˈkrinj\

: 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

intransitive verb
:  to draw in or contract one's muscles involuntarily (as from cold or pain)
:  to shrink in fear or servility
:  to behave in an excessively humble or servile way
:  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



Definition of CRINGE

:  a cringing act; specifically :  a servile bow

First Known Use of CRINGE



Next Word in the Dictionary: cringelingPrevious Word in the Dictionary: crinetAll Words Near: cringe
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