- to draw back or tense the body, as from pain or from a blow; start; flinch.
- a wincing or shrinking movement; a slight start.
Origin of wince1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wince
Memphis begins to pop up in the later chapters, and I wince at every mention because I know that is where the story will end.Tavis Smiley Humanely Chronicles MLK’s Sad Last Year
October 16, 2014
The errant flashes of light in your brain depicting this possibility are strong enough to make you wince and want to cry.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
“Hey, muffins,” he calls to his children, with a “wince of mortification” at the whole scene.This Week’s Hot Reads: May 13, 2013
Mythili Rao, Sarah Stodola
May 13, 2013
There was a clicking sound as the cuffs went back on, but not tight enough to make him wince.Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Is Arraigned Just Blocks From the Twin Towers
March 9, 2013
Afterward, ABC News reported that Ryan appeared to “wince” as he stood behind his running mate.Is It Paul Ryan to the Rescue on the Romney Ohio Bus Tour?
September 26, 2012
Because she saw him wince when she mentioned Christine, her ill temper increased.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
To talk to this woman of her mother made her wince, but it had to be done.Quaint Courtships
That ball grazed her tail, but she is too old a soldier to wince at trifles.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
How the friends of darkness, how the demons must wince and tremble.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
He talked of renunciation, but it was with an anguish so keen as to make me wince for him who felt it.The First Violin
- (intr) to start slightly, as with sudden pain; flinch
- the act of wincing
- a roller for transferring pieces of cloth between dyeing vats
Word Origin and History for wince
early 13c., winch, probably from Old North French *wenchier (in Old French guenchir "to turn aside, avoid"), from Frankish *wenkjan, from Proto-Germanic *wankjan (cf. Old High German wankon "to stagger, totter," Old Norse vakka "to stray, hover;" see wink). Originally of horses. Modern form is attested from late 13c. Related: Winced; wincing.