wince

play
verb \ ˈwin(t)s \

Definition of wince

winced; wincing
intransitive verb
:to shrink back involuntarily (as from pain) :flinch

wince

noun

Examples of wince in a Sentence

  1. winced at the movie's graphic depiction of combat injuries

Recent Examples of wince from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of wince

Middle English wynsen to kick out, start, from Anglo-French *wincer, *guincer to shift direction, dodge, by-form of guenchir, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wenken, wankōn to totter — more at wench

Synonym Discussion of wince

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

WINCE Defined for English Language Learners

wince

play
verb

Definition of wince for English Language Learners

  • : to have an expression on your face for a very short time which shows that you are embarrassed or in pain


WINCE Defined for Kids

wince

play
verb \ ˈwins \

Definition of wince for Students

winced; wincing
:to draw back (as from pain)


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