I. intransitive verb (cringed; cringing) Etymology: Middle English crengen; akin to Old English cringan to yield, Middle High German krank weak Date: 13th century 1. to draw in or contract one's muscles involuntarily (as from cold or pain) 2. to shrink in fear or servility 3. to behave in an excessively humble or servile way 4. to recoil in distaste <
Americans cringed…at the use of a term now regarded as a slur — William Safire
Synonyms: see fawncringer noun II. noun Date: 1597 a cringing act; specifically a servile bow

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cringe — Cringe, v. t. To contract; to draw together; to cause to shrink or wrinkle; to distort. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Till like a boy you see him cringe his face, And whine aloud for mercy. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cringe — Cringe, n. Servile civility; fawning; a shrinking or bowing, as in fear or servility. With cringe and shrug, and bow obsequious. Cowper. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cringe — (kr[i^]nj), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cringed} (kr[i^]njd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Cringing}.] [As. crincgan, cringan, crincan, to jield, fall; akin to E. crank.] To draw one s self together as in fear or servility; to bend or crouch with base humility; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cringe — [krındʒ] v [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: Perhaps from [i]Old English cringan to give up ] 1.) to move away from someone or something because you are afraid ▪ A stray dog was cringing by the door. ▪ She cringed away from him. 2.) to feel embarrassed… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cringe — cringe·ling; cringe; …   English syllables

  • cringe — index truckle Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • cringe — early 13c., from causative of O.E. cringan give way, fall (in battle), become bent, from P.Gmc. *krank bend, curl up (Cf. O.N. kringr, Du. kring, Ger. Kring circle, ring ). Related: Cringed; cringing. As a noun from 1590s …   Etymology dictionary

  • cringe — cower, truckle, *fawn, toady Analogous words: *recoil, quail, flinch, blench, wince: bow, cave, *yield, submit, defer …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cringe — meaning ‘to shrink back in fear’, has inflected forms cringed, cringing …   Modern English usage

  • cringe — [v] flinch, recoil from danger blench, cower, crawl, crouch, dodge, draw back, duck, eat dirt, grovel, kneel, quail, quiver, shrink, shy, start, stoop, tremble, wince; concepts 188,195 Ant. come forward …   New thesaurus

  • cringe — ► VERB (cringing) 1) bend one s head and body in fear or in a servile manner. 2) have a sudden feeling of embarrassment or disgust. ► NOUN ▪ an act of cringing. ORIGIN from an Old English word meaning «bend, yield, fall in battle»; related to… …   English terms dictionary

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