• synonyms


[ring-kuh l]
  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.
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verb (used with object), wrin·kled, wrin·kling.
  1. to form wrinkles in; corrugate; crease: Don't wrinkle your dress.
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verb (used without object), wrin·kled, wrin·kling.
  1. to become wrinkled.
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Origin of wrinkle1

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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for wrinkling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Well," she said, compressing her lips, and wrinkling her forehead in resignation.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • "Oh, this dreadful war," Mullally exclaimed, wrinkling his features.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Judith as she kissed him was wrinkling her smooth brows at him.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

  • Mayo studied his passenger for some time, wrinkling his brows.

  • "I don't seem to get hold of it, yet," said Eunice, wrinkling her forehead.

    Cricket at the Seashore

    Elizabeth Westyn Timlow

British Dictionary definitions for wrinkling


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

Word Origin

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
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Word Origin

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 wrinkling



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.

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"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper