[kruhm-puh l]

verb (used with object), crum·pled, crum·pling.

to press or crush into irregular folds or into a compact mass; bend out of shape; rumple; wrinkle.
to cause to collapse or give way suddenly: That right hook to the midsection crumpled him.

verb (used without object), crum·pled, crum·pling.

to contract into wrinkles; shrink; shrivel.
to give way suddenly; collapse: The bridge crumpled under the weight of the heavy trucks.


an irregular fold or wrinkle produced by crumpling.

Origin of crumple

1400–50; late Middle English; variant of crimple
Related formscrum·ply, adjectiveun·crum·pling, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crumple

Contemporary Examples of crumple

Historical Examples of crumple

  • The legs of his adversary seemed to crumple up like paper beneath him.

    The House in the Water

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • The crumple was not there, or at least only such crumple as she had naturally awaited.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • The crumple affected Cassy but far less than she had expected.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • And then he began to crush and crumple the paper, and to tear it into a thousand shreds.

  • He had the writing in his hand, and was about to crumple it, but I caught sight of it, and snatched it from him.

    The Iron Pirate

    Max Pemberton

British Dictionary definitions for crumple



(when intr, often foll by up) to collapse or cause to collapsehis courage crumpled
(when tr, often foll by up) to crush or cause to be crushed so as to form wrinkles or creases
(intr) to shrink; shrivel


a loose crease or wrinkle
Derived Formscrumply, adjective

Word Origin for crumple

C16: from obsolete crump to bend; related to Old High German krimpfan to wrinkle, Old Norse kreppa to contract
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 crumple

c.1300, crumplen, frequentative of crumpen "to curl up" (from Old English crump "bent, crooked"). Related: Crumpled; crumpling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper