[kring-kuh l]

verb (used with or without object), crin·kled, crin·kling.

to wrinkle; crimple; ripple.
to make slight, sharp sounds; rustle.
to turn or wind in many little bends and twists.


a wrinkle or ripple.
a crinkling sound.
a turn or twist.

Origin of crinkle

1350–1400; Middle English crinklen; akin to Old English crincan to bend, yield, Dutch krinkelen to crinkle; see cringle, cringe, crank1, -le Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crinkle

Historical Examples of crinkle

  • A storm might sweep it flat, or if neglected too long, it might "crinkle."

  • A crinkle, a ripple was spreading over the green-blue water.

    The Secret Cache

    E. C. [Ethel Claire] Brill

  • In one breed the wool is apt to wither and crinkle like hay on a sun-beaten hillside.

    Steep Trails

    John Muir

  • We crease the petals with them, and crinkle and vein and curl the outer edges.

    The Long Day

    Dorothy Richardson

  • All at once the crinkle of a chill ran across the Chevalier's shoulders.

    The Grey Cloak

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for crinkle



to form or cause to form wrinkles, twists, or folds
to make or cause to make a rustling noise


a wrinkle, twist, or fold
a rustling noise

Word Origin for crinkle

Old English crincan to bend, give way; related to Middle Dutch krinkelen to crinkle, Middle High German krank weak, ill, 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 crinkle

late 14c., from frequentative of Old English crincan, variant of cringan "to bend, yield" (see cringe). Related: Crinkled; crinkling. As a noun from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper