\ ˈflinch How to pronounce flinch (audio) \
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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web When asked pregame whether the mood in the locker room was angry or nervous, Celtics coach Ime Udoka didn't flinch. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 17 June 2022 The Eagles did not flinch, responding with a three-run sixth inning that gave them a second straight state championship. Franco Panizo, Sun Sentinel, 25 May 2022 In true Lee form, the script doesn't flinch, attacking race, agony, and the effects of war head-on. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 May 2022 Many artists flinch when asked about the social and economic messaging behind their work. Grace Banks, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 The sounds of two loud explosions ring out, but the 3-year-old doesn’t flinch. Loveday Morris And Anastacia Galouchka, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Mar. 2022 Baker’s label didn’t flinch over the transformation. Meaghan Garvey, Billboard, 23 Mar. 2022 As survivors described their ordeal, explosions shook the walls, causing medical workers to flinch. Mstyslav Chernov, ajc, 15 Mar. 2022 But the Flames, the East's No. 1 seed, didn't flinch and responded with a 12-0 run to tie it at 14 apiece. The Courier-Journal, 6 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flinch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flinch. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for flinch


\ ˈflinch How to pronounce flinch (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on flinch

Nglish: Translation of flinch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flinch for Arabic Speakers


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