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[kruhm-puh l] /ˈkrʌm pəl/
verb (used with object), crumpled, crumpling.
to press or crush into irregular folds or into a compact mass; bend out of shape; rumple; wrinkle.
to cause to collapse or give way suddenly:
That right hook to the midsection crumpled him.
verb (used without object), crumpled, crumpling.
to contract into wrinkles; shrink; shrivel.
to give way suddenly; collapse:
The bridge crumpled under the weight of the heavy trucks.
an irregular fold or wrinkle produced by crumpling.
Origin of crumple
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; variant of crimple
Related forms
crumply, adjective
uncrumpling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crumples
Historical Examples
  • crumples or no crumples, there was no denying that blue was a becoming colour.

    About Peggy Saville Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • Hubbard passes it to him, and he looks at it, crumples it in his hand, and grinds it under foot.

    Theft Jack London
  • And he crumples up his little face like those things in gutta-percha.

    Jacqueline, Complete (Mme. Blanc) Th. Bentzon
  • I think you are right, Mr. crumples, added the vice-principal.

  • Tootsie Wootsie is about to sign when Medicine Man crumples into heap.

  • The crumples were cut by fissures, perpendicular to which the blue veins ran.

  • Or the child in handling the object pounds with it, or crumples it, and a sound issues.

  • The core of the globe contracts, and the force that crumples the crust to fit the core generates heat.

  • Picks up the sheets, crumples them into a ball and throws them into the waste-paper basket.

  • In an instant the wall paper slips down from the walls and crumples to a heap on the floor.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
British Dictionary definitions for crumples


when intr, often foll by up. to collapse or cause to collapse: his courage crumpled
when tr, often foll by up. to crush or cause to be crushed so as to form wrinkles or creases
(intransitive) to shrink; shrivel
a loose crease or wrinkle
Derived Forms
crumply, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from obsolete crump to bend; related to Old High German krimpfan to wrinkle, Old Norse kreppa to contract
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
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Word Origin and History for crumples



c.1300, crumplen, frequentative of crumpen "to curl up" (from Old English crump "bent, crooked"). Related: Crumpled; crumpling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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