cringe

[ krinj ]
/ krɪndʒ /

verb (used without object), cringed, cring·ing.

to shrink, bend, or crouch, especially in fear or servility; cower.
to fawn.

noun

servile or fawning deference.

Nearby words

  1. crimson,
  2. crimson clover,
  3. crimson flag,
  4. crimsonly,
  5. crine,
  6. cringe-making,
  7. cringle,
  8. crinite,
  9. crinkle,
  10. crinkle leaf

Origin of cringe

1175–1225; Middle English crengen, crenchen (transitive); Old English *crencean, crencgean, causative of cringan, crincan to yield, fall (in battle)

Related formscring·er, nouncring·ing·ly, adverbcring·ing·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cringe


British Dictionary definitions for cringe

cringe

/ (krɪndʒ) /

verb (intr)

to shrink or flinch, esp in fear or servility
to behave in a servile or timid way
informal
  1. to wince in embarrassment or distaste
  2. to experience a sudden feeling of embarrassment or distaste

noun

the act of cringing
the cultural cringe Australian subservience to overseas cultural standards
Derived Formscringer, nouncringingly, adverb

Word Origin for cringe

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

Word Origin and History for cringe

cringe

v.

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