- 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 cringed
And in the season finale, I cringed so hard that tears finally came out.‘The Comeback’ Finale: Give Lisa Kudrow All of the Awards
December 29, 2014
When my British husband insisted that what he truly wanted for his birthday was to see a Monster Jam Truck show, I cringed inside.The Moms of Monster Jam Drive Trucks, Buck Macho Culture
November 22, 2014
Democrats who saw it cringed, Republicans were stunned, and nobody else noticed.Alison Grimes Will Have to Step It Up to Beat Mitch McConnell
November 30, 2013
I cringed when one actually screamed at me: "How can beggars be choosers?"The Pointlessness of Some Disaster Charity After the Indian Floods
June 26, 2013
Yes, I have cringed listening to Americans complain about how much smaller and dingier everything is compared to home.Are Americans Really So Rude?
October 3, 2012
Before the look of loathing in his handsome face Gonzaga cringed.Love-at-Arms
I, in the background, noted their black looks at me even as they cringed.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
Whenever she passed him she cringed as if expectant of a blow.Bloom of Cactus
Robert Ames Bennet
She cringed at the thought, for what was she that a man should die in her service?Riders of the Silences
And there was a time when Europe cringed at the clank of the Prussian sword!The Green Rust
- 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 cringed
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.