crum·​ple | \ ˈkrəm-pəl How to pronounce crumple (audio) \
crumpled; crumpling\ ˈkrəm-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce crumpling (audio) \

Definition of crumple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to press, bend, or crush out of shape : rumple
2 : to cause to collapse

intransitive verb

1 : to become crumpled
2 : collapse



Definition of crumple (Entry 2 of 2)

: a wrinkle or crease made by crumpling

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Other Words from crumple


crumply \ ˈkrəm-​p(ə-​)lē How to pronounce crumply (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for crumple

Synonyms: Verb

crinkle, rumple, scrunch, wrinkle

Antonyms: Verb

flatten, iron out, smooth, smoothen, uncrumple

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Examples of crumple in a Sentence


She crumpled the piece of paper into a ball and tossed it into the garbage can. The car's fender was crumpled in the accident. At the sight of blood, he crumpled to the floor.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the death most widely agonized, champion filly Go For Wand crumpled to the dirt in the Distaff at Belmont Park in 1990, horrifying witnesses on a day that cost three contestants, all told. Chuck Culpepper And Jacob Bogage,, "Breeders’ Cup will remain at Santa Anita, where 30 horses have died since Christmas," 28 June 2019 The person wearing the teal shorts appeared to land at least one blow on another man, who had his back turned and then appeared to crumple to the ground. NBC News, "Parents throw punches — not baseballs — in brawl at children's baseball game in Colorado," 19 June 2019 But the rush has overwhelmed the government’s migration agencies, which are crumpling under the weight of severe backlogs and budget cuts. New York Times, "Mexico Cracks Down on Migrants, After Pressure From Trump to Act," 3 June 2019 During cleanup, turn a piece of foil into a pan scrubber by crumpling it up. Kristi Valentini, Redbook, "The No-Fly, All-Fun Vacation," 13 July 2017 His camouflage combat uniform was crumpled on the floor. Bree Burkitt,, "A frantic call, a final standoff: 'Please don't hurt him. He just needs help'," 19 June 2019 Valdez then took the ashes and used them to create the black patina for the outsize eagle lying crumpled on the gallery floor. Globe Staff,, "Getting real in a stirring show at Mass MoCA," 13 June 2019 Hundreds, if not thousands, were killed, their bodies left crumpled on the ground in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Memories of Tiananmen Square," 4 June 2019 Amran, her precocious, lively sixth-grader, was crumpled on the road, limp and scraped raw. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "A police chase ends with a brain-damaged child and a family forever changed," 5 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On impact, the collapsible structure flexes and crumples, basically moving in all directions, depending on the angle and force of the crash. Stephanie Pearson, WIRED, "Top 3 Bike Helmets for 2019," 24 June 2019 Compartir The sight of an airy outdoor terrace, full of orange trees and low-slung lamps and big, hearty laughs will put your mind (and shirt crumples) at ease. Gemma Askham, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Barcelona," 4 Mar. 2018 On the stoop above, a couple argues; and a woman on one of the benches crumples dollar bills into her wallet, then lowers her face into the steam of her curry. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 As Ali's children lift him into bed, his face crumples in pain and exhaustion. John Wendle, Scientific American, "The Ominous Story of Syria's Climate Refugees," 17 Dec. 2015 And there were Sean and Sandy Anderson, a prepper couple who’d seen their camping and tactical goods business crumple and drove over from Idaho. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter One: A War in the Desert," 15 May 2018 Un-crumple cloth and line the mold (or strainer) with it, leaving overhang. 2. Leah Eskin,, "Heart-shaped dessert coeur a la creme a balm to the melancholy," 24 Apr. 2018 The soldiers then debate whether to take out the person wearing a pink shirt or a blue shirt right before the crack of a shot is heard and one of the figures crumples. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "A Palestinian protester was shot by Israeli snipers. One celebrating soldier called it a ‘legendary clip’," 10 Apr. 2018 Not an open sob, not an angry cry out loud, just a quiet crumple to which my brother responded with a couple of sympathetic pats on the knee. Jodie Briggs, Longreads, "Growing Up Around Funeral Homes Didn’t Prepare Me for Death," 27 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crumple.' 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 crumple


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crumple


Middle English crumplen, frequentative of Middle English crumpen

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Statistics for crumple

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for crumple

The first known use of crumple was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for crumple



English Language Learners Definition of crumple

: to press or squeeze (something) so that it is no longer flat or smooth
: to become wrinkled or bent : to stop being smooth or flat
: to suddenly bend and fall


crum·​ple | \ ˈkrəm-pəl How to pronounce crumple (audio) \
crumpled; crumpling

Kids Definition of crumple

1 : to press or crush out of shape crumple paper
2 : to become full of wrinkles My shirt got all crumpled in the suitcase.
3 : collapse entry 1 sense 1 At the sight of blood, I crumpled to the floor.

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More from Merriam-Webster on crumple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crumple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crumple

Spanish Central: Translation of crumple

Nglish: Translation of crumple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crumple for Arabic Speakers

Comments on crumple

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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