[ring-kuh l]
See more synonyms for wrinkle on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small furrow or crease in the skin, especially of the face, as from aging or frowning.
  2. a temporary slight ridge or furrow on a surface, due to contraction, folding, crushing, or the like.
verb (used with object), wrin·kled, wrin·kling.
  1. to form wrinkles in; corrugate; crease: Don't wrinkle your dress.
verb (used without object), wrin·kled, wrin·kling.
  1. to become wrinkled.

Origin of wrinkle

1375–1425; late Middle English (noun), back formation from wrinkled, Old English gewrinclod, past participle of gewrinclian to wind round; perhaps akin to wrick, wrench


[ring-kuh l]
noun Informal.
  1. an ingenious trick or device; a clever innovation: a new advertising wrinkle.

Origin of wrinkle

1375–1425; late Middle English, equivalent to wrinc trick (Old English wrenc; see wrench) + -le
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wrinkle

Contemporary Examples of wrinkle

Historical Examples of wrinkle

  • He said if they was any longer they'd wrinkle under the arms.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It had become a grimace that creased every wrinkle into prominence.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • They wrinkle up their upper lips to leave their fangs exposed.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin

  • It seemed as if that kiss smoothed every wrinkle of worry from the man's brow.

    The Story of Glass

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • The third might have been in a wrinkle of the bag, without your feeling it!

    The Ocean Waifs

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for wrinkle


  1. a slight ridge in the smoothness of a surface, such as a crease in the skin as a result of age
  1. to make or become wrinkled, as by crumpling, creasing, or puckering
Derived Formswrinkleless, adjectivewrinkly, adjective

Word Origin for wrinkle

C15: back formation from wrinkled, from Old English gewrinclod, past participle of wrinclian to wind around; related to Swedish vrinka to sprain, Lithuanian reñgti to twist. See wrench


  1. informal a clever or useful trick, hint, or dodge

Word Origin for wrinkle

Old English wrenc trick; related to Middle Low German wrank struggle, Middle High German ranc sudden turn. See wrench
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 wrinkle

c.1400 (implied in wrinkling), probably from stem of Old English gewrinclod "wrinkled, crooked, winding," past participle of gewrinclian "to wind, crease," from perfective prefix ge- + -wrinclian "to wind," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (see wrench (v.)). Related: Wrinkled.


"fold or crease in the extenal body," late 14c.; in cloth or clothing from early 15c., probably from wrinkle (v.). Meaning "defect, problem" first recorded 1640s; that of "idea, device, notion" (especially a new one) is from 1817.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper