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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When limited to texting and phone calls and the odd celebration on Zoom, one gradually learns which relationships are held by enduring fondness and which will crumple amid structural collapse. Jane Hu, The New Yorker, 11 June 2021 When the condos began to crumple, Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter, Devon, went into a free fall and landed on the fifth floor. Washington Post, 1 July 2021 The result shocked mathematicians who previously had thought that crisp folds were required to crumple the sphere in this way. Quanta Magazine, 7 June 2021 Or crumple to the floor and let jagged, snotty sobs shake out of me. Kaci Neves, Bon Appétit, 7 June 2021 But within minutes, the toxins of these particular venoms will have worked their insidious magic: The fish will crumple, sluggish and quivering, allowing the snail to approach from behind and gulp it down gleefully. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 12 Mar. 2021 Then, have everyone crumple up their pieces of paper and throw them in the trash. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 Tullamore can figuratively wave the form around for publicity then crumple it up and burn it in the Mojave Desert. Tara Nurin, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 The poll worker appears to gesture in an animated way, and then crumple up a small piece of paper. Star Tribune, 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Bullets to the head, bodies in bloody crumples, people on fire — things of that sort. Dan Barry, New York Times, 4 Mar. 2020 At Nation Bluff, a ranger had left a crumple of newspaper and dry kindling inside the woodstove. Anchorage Daily News, 23 Feb. 2020 Weeks later, Schwab announced the purchase of one of those rivals, which had seen its stock price crumple after Schwab’s announcement. Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2019 One practice into coach Zac Taylor's inaugural season, the last-place Bengals saw their most indispensable player crumple on the field. Joe Kay, Houston Chronicle, 27 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for crumple

Time Traveler

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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Statistics for crumple

Last Updated

5 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crumple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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.

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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