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

Other Words from crumple


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for crumple

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of crumple in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sorters could crumple films and tell—by their sound—their polymer lattices. Rebecca Altman, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2022 Fernando, crumple up that application to be a wild-animal trainer. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Mar. 2022 Now take just one of those sheets and crumple it up into a ball. Rhett Allain, Wired, 11 Feb. 2022 Barrett lofted a left-handed floater while also hitting his defender, Reggie Jackson, hard enough for Jackson to momentarily crumple. Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2022 The videos, which were also obtained by The Washington Post, show that Hall’s hands remained up, with one of them holding the pellet gun, when two state troopers began firing at him, causing the teen to crumple to the ground almost immediately. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 Pull the corners of the aluminum foil square together and crumple the square into a loose ball that is approximately six cm in diameter. Science Buddies, Scientific American, 12 Apr. 2012 The seminar comes as the southern border continues to crumple under the compounding crisis. Bill Melugin, Fox News, 10 Dec. 2021 Now crumple the ball a little more tightly, into one that is approximately five cm in diameter. Science Buddies, Scientific American, 12 Apr. 2012 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The crumple of a man unfolding a newspaper, and a pencil scribbling the answers to a crossword puzzle. Andy Meek, BGR, 20 May 2022 Along the Gulf Coast, this is largely due to the extraction of oil and water, which makes the ground crumple like an empty plastic bottle. Matt Simon, Wired, 24 Feb. 2022 The man was outside, on a mobile, his voice dipping in and out amid the ambient scratch and crumple of the elements. Colin Barrett, The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 Then came Osaka, a winner of the U.S. and Australian opens, acknowledging that athletes can publicly share vulnerability and truths about the types of pressure that would cause most to crumple. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2021 The frenetic music in the background, the melodramatic slaps, Sarah Jane’s slow crumple to the asphalt. New York Times, 23 Feb. 2021 Just like seat belts, crumple-zones and airbags increase the odds of surviving an accident, masks, physical distancing (and common sense) will lower the risk of catching this virus. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 15 Sep. 2020 Seat belts won’t prevent all fatal car crashes, but cars also come with airbags and crumple zones. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2020 The cells flex to produce initial frictional forces, then cells crumple like a car bumper on impact. Gregg Ellman Tribune News Service, Star Tribune, 12 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for crumple

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

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Dictionary Entries Near crumple

crump hole



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Cite this Entry

“Crumple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for crumple


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on crumple

Nglish: Translation of crumple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crumple for Arabic Speakers

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