\ 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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web As a doctor inserted the needle, Lindsay didn’t flinch. Washington Post, "Why might women be less eager to get the coronavirus vaccine? An investigation.," 15 Dec. 2020 Yet Alvarez — all 5-feet, 8 inches of him — will barely flinch. John Whisler, ExpressNews.com, "Canelo Alvarez faces tall order in fight vs. Callum Smith," 18 Dec. 2020 Heaukulani came in when Noah Sewell went out late with an apparent left shoulder injury thought to be a stinger and didn’t flinch in getting downhill in a hurry and filling his gap to help cause stops. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "12 takeaways from Oregon Ducks’ loss at Cal," 7 Dec. 2020 Hence, the Warriors did not flinch one bit last summer with granting Thompson a five-year, $190 million contract. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Will Warriors' Klay Thompson ever be the durable star again?," 20 Nov. 2020 The authors also do not flinch from the role that hockey may have had in spreading the virus, noting correctly that hockey is associated with the most outbreaks of any youth sport in Minnesota. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Hockey's response to COVID 'pause' deserves praise," 19 Nov. 2020 Our deal is don’t flinch, have some grit about you. Al.com Reports, al, "Hoover holds off Oak Mountain 24-21, faces rematch with Thompson," 14 Nov. 2020 Even after Thompson injured his knee, the Warriors didn't flinch with giving him a five-year, $190 million deal. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Warriors' ability to absorb Klay Thompson's absence has its limits," 19 Nov. 2020 And yet, the Big Ten keeps waiting for Fields to flinch. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football survives Rutgers' high-wire act in 49-27 victory," 8 Nov. 2020

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.

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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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Learn More about flinch

Time Traveler for flinch

Time Traveler

The first known use of flinch was in 1578

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Statistics for flinch

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flinch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flinch. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for flinch


How to pronounce flinch (audio)

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


\ 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

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Comments on flinch

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