cringe·wor·thy | \ ˈkrinj-ˌwər-t͟hē \

Definition of cringeworthy 

: so embarrassing, awkward, or upsetting as to cause one to cringe a cringeworthy performance

Examples of cringeworthy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Trump opponents criticized Fallon for a cringeworthy interview only weeks before the election where Fallon playfully stroked Trump’s hair., "Jimmy Fallon reveals his personal pain following Trump fallout," 20 June 2018 These panels can make for some beautiful, unscripted moments — and also lead to some cringeworthy experiences. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "'Westworld' is latest panel to be killed by fan questions: Here are a few others," 22 Apr. 2018 Her icy glare, made famous to a new generation on The Crown, is captured in the cringeworthy photographs. Meagan Fredette,, "Trump Ends Tumultuous U.K. Visit With A Breach In Royal Protocol," 14 July 2018 But there’s also a purity to the song that renders it equally cringeworthy and endearing. Jaya Saxena, GQ, ""Two Princes" Is the World's Catchiest Punchline," 23 May 2018 Despite strong talent behind it, the comedy is cringeworthy and tedious. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "TV tonight: 'Jessica Jones,' Mindy Kaling's 'Champions'," 8 Mar. 2018 Dillon Francis has been interviewing famous DJs, including Calvin Harris and Alesso, as his serious techno alter ego DJ Hanzel, but this latest episode featuring a quiet Jauz might be the most cringeworthy yet. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Jauz Goes 'One Deeper' With Hilarious Dillon Francis Interview: Watch," 2 July 2018 Nielsen's testimony to Congress in January was also somewhat cringeworthy. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The grim desperation of Kirstjen Nielsen," 18 June 2018 This season has certainly seen its share of awkward moments, but this might be the most cringeworthy one of all. Jamie Ballard, Good Housekeeping, "Ryan Seacrest Lands in Hot Water After “Uncomfortable” Exchange With Katy Perry," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cringeworthy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cringeworthy

1977, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cringeworthy

Share cringeworthy

Dictionary Entries near cringeworthy








Statistics for cringeworthy

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cringeworthy

The first known use of cringeworthy was in 1977

See more words from the same year

Comments on cringeworthy

What made you want to look up cringeworthy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!