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 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 Election officials say the poll worker in the video did not crumple or discard a ballot. Star Tribune, 6 Nov. 2020 In 1989 — a full quarter-century after minimalism first started causing patrons to crumple their programs — the Los Angeles Times ran a piece by critic Donna Perlmutter covering the still-simmering controversy. Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2020 But Tsitsipas has shown a tendency to crumple with victory in sight since the restart of the tour in August. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, 7 Oct. 2020 After they’re assembled, these long chains crumple up into what often look like random globs. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 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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Cite this Entry

“Crumple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 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.


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