Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[krinj] /krɪndʒ/
verb (used without object), cringed, cringing.
to shrink, bend, or crouch, especially in fear or servility; cower.
to fawn.
servile or fawning deference.
Origin of cringe
1175-1225; Middle English crengen, crenchen (transitive); Old English *crencean, crencgean, causative of cringan, crincan to yield, fall (in battle)
Related forms
cringer, noun
cringingly, adverb
cringingness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cringed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Before the look of loathing in his handsome face Gonzaga cringed.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • I, in the background, noted their black looks at me even as they cringed.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Whenever she passed him she cringed as if expectant of a blow.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
  • She cringed at the thought, for what was she that a man should die in her service?

    Riders of the Silences

    John Frederick
  • And there was a time when Europe cringed at the clank of the Prussian sword!

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for cringed


verb (intransitive)
to shrink or flinch, esp in fear or servility
to behave in a servile or timid way
  1. to wince in embarrassment or distaste
  2. to experience a sudden feeling of embarrassment or distaste
the act of cringing
(Austral) the cultural cringe, subservience to overseas cultural standards
Derived Forms
cringer, noun
cringingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English cringan to yield in battle; related to Old Norse krangr weak, Middle High German krenken to weaken
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cringed



early 13c., from causative of Old English cringan "give way, fall (in battle), become bent," from Proto-Germanic *krank- "bend, curl up" (cf. Old Norse kringr, Dutch kring, German Kring "circle, ring"). Related: Cringed; cringing. As a noun from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for cringed

Word Value for cringed

Scrabble Words With Friends