flinch

verb
\ˈflinch \
flinched; flinching; flinches

Definition of flinch 

intransitive verb

: to withdraw or shrink from or as if from pain : wince He flinched when he was presented with the car repair bill. also : to tense the muscles involuntarily in anticipation of discomfort I cannot help flinching when I hear the dentist's drill.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from flinch

flinch noun
flincher noun

Choose the Right Synonym for flinch

recoil, shrink, flinch, wince, blench, quail mean to draw back in fear or distaste. recoil implies a start or movement away through shock, fear, or disgust. recoiled at the suggestion of stealing shrink suggests an instinctive recoil through sensitiveness, scrupulousness, or cowardice. shrank from the unpleasant truth flinch implies a failure to endure pain or face something dangerous or frightening with resolution. faced her accusers without flinching wince suggests a slight involuntary physical reaction (such as a start or recoiling). winced in pain blench implies fainthearted flinching. stood their ground without blenching quail suggests shrinking and cowering in fear. quailed before the apparition

Examples of flinch in a Sentence

He flinched when I tapped him on the shoulder. She met danger without flinching. The bill was much higher than expected, but he paid it without flinching.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

These kinds of situations are made for Suter, who never flinches when given different assignments or disappointments. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lefty Brent Suter assumed unlikely hero role for Brewers, on the mound and at the plate," 8 May 2018 Reed never flinched through it all on a raucous afternoon at Augusta National, calmly rolling in a 3-foot par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory. Doug Ferguson, Houston Chronicle, "Patrick Reed wins Masters for 1st major title," 8 Apr. 2018 On his left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo turns his head away from Trump and looks down at the dinner plate in front of him, while on his right, Hutchinson flinches, straightens up abruptly and casts her eyes toward the president. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "Pursed lips and glances to the floor: Watch Trump aides react to his attacks on Germany," 11 July 2018 Democrats screamed, but neither Mr. McConnell nor Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley flinched. Fred Barnes, WSJ, "Mitch McConnell Is the Master of Confirming Judges," 9 July 2018 Those who demand the glossy veneer of big brand luxury, may flinch at the bumpy roads leading to farms. Lauren Mowery, USA TODAY, "Costa Rican coffee, from rural farms to Starbucks' visitor center," 26 June 2018 That time, Harden flinched at Glad, causing him to jump back and teammate Nene gave him a little push on the shoulder to back him off. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "James Harden slaps cell phone of heckling Jazz fan," 3 May 2018 Many Syrians flinch at the idea of going back, fearful that they will be killed, forced into camps or dragooned into the army. The Economist, "Syrian refugees could turn into the new Palestinians," 30 June 2018 Silently, in the first seconds of Zederbaum's video, Shue flinched and another officer covered his ears. Jane Wester, charlotteobserver, "Video: 'Ambush' at CMPD headquarters put one officer in hospital, killed a suspect | Charlotte Observer," 10 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flinch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of flinch

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flinch

Middle French flenchir to bend, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German lenken to bend, Old High German hlanca flank — more at lank

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flinch

Dictionary Entries near flinch

flimmer

flimp

flimsy

flinch

flinchingly

flinders

Flinders

Statistics for flinch

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flinch

The first known use of flinch was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flinch

flinch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flinch

: to move suddenly because you are afraid of being hit or hurt

: to show fear : to hesitate from doing something unpleasant or dangerous

flinch

verb
\ˈflinch \
flinched; flinching

Kids Definition of flinch

: to draw back from or as if from pain or fear … Homily did not flinch as the great face came slowly closer.— Mary Norton, The Borrowers

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on flinch

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!