- to shrink, bend, or crouch, especially in fear or servility; cower.
- to fawn.
- servile or fawning deference.
Origin of cringe
Examples from the Web for cringes
I am someone who cringes when I hear a description of a sprained ankle.Why I Didn't Write About Gosnell's Trial--And Why I Should Have
April 12, 2013
“When his name is in the paper, he cringes,” says a Hill veteran.Behind Bill Daley's Demotion
Eleanor Clift, Patricia Murphy
November 9, 2011
He cringes at the thought of going on a talk show and does not particularly enjoy premiere walks along the red carpet.Hollywood’s Reluctant Leading Man
August 18, 2011
I'll keep him and club him till he cringes and crawls at my feet.Left on the Labrador
He swears by the State and the army, and cringes before the power of money.The Social Significance of the Modern Drama
He may cringe and growl, or cringe and not growl; but he either beats or cringes.
"Either beats or cringes," said Wemmick, not at all addressing himself to me.
He was like a dog that has been too much beaten, and cringes even before it is struck.Love's Pilgrimage
- to shrink or flinch, esp in fear or servility
- to behave in a servile or timid way
- to wince in embarrassment or distaste
- to experience a sudden feeling of embarrassment or distaste
- the act of cringing
- the cultural cringe Australian subservience to overseas cultural standards
Word Origin and History for cringes
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.