[ring-kuh l]


a small furrow or crease in the skin, especially of the face, as from aging or frowning.
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.

to form wrinkles in; corrugate; crease: Don't wrinkle your dress.

verb (used without object), wrin·kled, wrin·kling.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for wrinkled

corrugated, furrowed, lined

Examples from the Web for wrinkled

Contemporary Examples of wrinkled

Historical Examples of wrinkled

  • The healthy and the young might read a lesson on her blanched and wrinkled cheek.

  • Her ivory forehead was wrinkled charmingly in a little frown of obstinacy.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • One was an elderly savage, with a wrinkled, shrewd countenance.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • You will become fat and wrinkled and old just like the other women who were young when you were young.

    Casanova's Homecoming

    Arthur Schnitzler

  • Peppajee eyed him comprehendingly, but there was no yielding in his brown, wrinkled face.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for wrinkled




a slight ridge in the smoothness of a surface, such as a crease in the skin as a result of age


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




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 wrinkled



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