cringe·​wor·​thy | \ ˈkrinj-ˌwər-t͟hē How to pronounce cringeworthy (audio) \

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 Most of the acts will probably be less-than-stellar, but even a cringeworthy show makes a unique way to pass an evening. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "100 Cute Date Ideas so You Never Get Bored Again," 26 Mar. 2020 Supporters say synthetic dissections could bring an end to cringeworthy videos from science classrooms. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "Synthetic Frogs Challenge Science Class Rite of Passage: ‘It Was a Lot Easier and Didn’t Smell as Bad.’," 24 Jan. 2020 When Sandra Oh called out Hollywood's whitewashing This moment was mostly cringeworthy for those whom Oh was calling out: Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Awkward! Here are the most cringeworthy celebrity moments of 2019," 2 Dec. 2019 The art form’s enormous demands on performers—to craft intricate lines and deliver them cleanly and confidently while also interacting with an audience—makes even the most cringeworthy sets worthy of respect. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Rhythm + Flow Is a Testament to Hip-Hop’s Complexity," 9 Oct. 2019 Here are seven of the most cringeworthy football challenges online., "The 7 Most Cringeworthy Football Challenges Ever Posted Online," 29 Sep. 2019 And if his first encounter with Aniston wasn’t cringeworthy enough, Rudd said his final day on set with the actress was just as bad. Jodi Guglielmi,, "Paul Rudd Reveals He Ran Over Jennifer Aniston's Foot on the Set of Friends: 'I Felt Awful'," 11 Oct. 2019 Even more cringeworthy are the exhumations of other ’80s and ’90s subcultures: pentagrams drawn on Trapper Keepers, unwieldy tubs of muscle powder, whiteboy ciphers drowning out Fugees CDs at backyard keggers in the ramifying burbs. New York Times, "Ben Lerner’s ‘The Topeka School’ Revisits the Debates of the ’90s," 3 Oct. 2019 And increasingly, those cringeworthy posts have been retweeted in a bid to create embarrassing news stories. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Kyle Kashuv case: What does forgiveness mean in modern America?," 21 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of cringeworthy

1977, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cringeworthy

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The first known use of cringeworthy was in 1977

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Last Updated

2 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cringeworthy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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