Definition of flinch
: 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.>
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.
Origin and Etymology of flinch
Medieval French flenchir to bend, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German lenken to bend, Old High German hlanca flank — more at lank
First Known Use: 1578
Synonym Discussion of flinch
FLINCH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of flinch for English Language Learners
: to move suddenly because you are afraid of being hit or hurt
: to show fear : to hesitate from doing something unpleasant or dangerous
FLINCH Defined for Kids
Definition of flinch for Students
: 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>
Seen and Heard
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