crine

[ krahyn ]
/ kraɪn /

noun

hair; head of hair.

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Origin of crine

First recorded in 1605–15, crine is from the Latin word crīnis hair

OTHER WORDS FROM crine

crinal, adjectivein·ter·cri·nal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does crine mean?

On social media, especially Twitter, crine is used as an alternate spelling of cryin’ (crying), as in “for crine out loud.”

Crine can also refer to “hair” or a “head of hair.”

In Scottish English, crine means “to shrink or shrivel,” especially with age or heat, or “to dry up.”

Where does crine come from?

Crine, for “hair” or a “head of hair,” comes from the Latin word crinis, meaning “hair.” These days it’s an obsolete word, recorded in English in the 1580s.

In Scottish English (Scots), crine means “to shrink” or “shrivel.” The word comes from the Scottish Gaelic word crìon, “to wither.” This word is recorded in the early 16th century. Some variant forms are kreen, cryne, and crein.

Besides these older uses of the word crine, the word has been used as an alternate spelling of cryin’ (a colloquial pronunciation of crying, with the spelling based on sound) by at least 1997. Initially, the spelling crine for cryin’ was humorously associated with Texas dialects, and later, Black English.

By the 2000s, crine had spread more widely on social media and was commonly found on sites like Twitter and in memes.

How is crine used in real life?

Crine, for “hair,” has largely fallen out of use, and the meaning “to shrivel,” is also becoming increasingly rare. So, expect to encounter crine as a spelling of cryin’.

The “crying” crine is closely associated with Black Twitter. Online, people may spell cryin’ as crine for humorous (or dramatic) effect, often to express cry-laughing.

It’s frequently found in the expression I’m crine, as in a person “crying” from some overwhelming feeling–usually as laughter, excitement, happiness, and occasionally empathy and sadness.

More examples of crine:

“I would not have believed that one of the principal rooms in my father’s house could have crined (shrunk) into a hole like this.’”
—Sarah Tyler, Miss Nance, 1899

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.