- to draw back or shrink, as from what is dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant.
- to shrink under pain; wince.
- Croquet. to let the foot slip from the ball in the act of croqueting.
- to draw back or withdraw from.
- an act of flinching.
Origin of flinch1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsblanch, balk, cower, blink, recoil, cringe, swerve, crouch, escape, avoid, retire, recede, evade, elude, start, eschew, blench, withdraw, duck, shun
Examples from the Web for flinch
Kenyatta made a Bush-like vow to continue the war on Al-Shabab, saying, “We will not flinch.”Al-Shabab’s Anti-Christian Slaughter
December 3, 2014
We pressed here and watched it kick and then we pressed there and watched it flinch.Mosul's Civilization and Its Discontents
June 14, 2014
But even his biggest defenders will flinch at the assaults, sexual or not, that Joe has to endure in Nymphomaniac.Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Raw Performance in ‘Nymphomaniac’ Is Not About the Sex
March 21, 2014
Many young men will risk death rather than be seen by their peers to flinch from a fight.The Truth About Women in Combat
March 1, 2013
The familiar tone of wary bewilderment made me flinch a little.Former Cop Edward Conlon on What He Learned About Profiling
April 7, 2012
His duty lay very plain before him, and he would not flinch.Southern Lights and Shadows
Not this time would I flinch from what consequences might follow.Wilfrid Cumbermede
The perfume of violet scent was almost unbearable, but he did not flinch.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
Yet she did not flinch, nor did a single symptom of panic or fear cross her face.Louisiana Lou
William West Winter
It was a painful journey downstairs, but Polly did not flinch.Polly of Lady Gay Cottage
Emma C. Dowd
- to draw back suddenly, as from pain, shock, etc; wincehe flinched as the cold water struck him
- (often foll by from) to avoid contact (with); shy awayhe never flinched from his duty
- the act or an instance of drawing back
- a card game in which players build sequences
- a variant of flense
Word Origin and History for flinch
1570s, from obsolete flecche "to bend, flinch," probably from Old French flenchir "to bend," probably from Frankish *hlankjan or some other Germanic source (cf. Middle High German linken, German lenken "to bend, turn, lead"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn" (see link (n.)). Related: Flinched; flinching. As a noun, from 1817.