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Definition of "cringe" []

  • To shrink back, as in fear; cower. (verb-intransitive)
  • To behave in a servile way; fawn. (verb-intransitive)
  • An act or instance of cringing. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cringe" in a sentence
  • "What makes me cringe is the wanton mis-use of “have”, plus the non-use of it when required: “I seen my friends at Walmarts yestidday” is a common phrase here."
  • "One thing that makes me cringe is seeing politicians from the mainstream parties acting as apologists for BNP voters."
  • "The cringe is a successful technique for deflecting aggression … Just as we are genetically programmed to seek signs of love and loyalty, dogs are genetically programmed to exploit this foible of ours."