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.

Origin of cringe

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

Related forms

cring·er, nouncring·ing·ly, adverbcring·ing·ness, noun
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Examples from the Web for cringing

British Dictionary definitions for cringing

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 Forms

cringer, 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