[krinj] /krɪndʒ/
verb (used without object), cringed, cringing.
to shrink, bend, or crouch, especially in fear or servility; cower.
to fawn.
servile or fawning deference.
1175–1225; Middle English crengen, crenchen (transitive); Old English *crencean, crencgean, causative of cringan, crincan to yield, fall (in battle)
Related forms
cringer, noun
cringingly, adverb
cringingness, noun
Example Sentences for cringe
The golf purist who remains loyal to persimmon wood may cringe at what technology has wrought: a solid-plastic club head.
They want the best leaders, but they cringe at the cost.
It is more likely to have made investors cringe than reach for their wallets.
You've seen news footage of the devastation caused by major oil spills, and you cringe every time you change your oil.
Nevertheless, there were a few things about episode two that made me cringe.
Some serious photographers might cringe at being called amateurs.
Still, it was less the costume than the acting that made us cringe.
It looks incredibly fun, even though the high wipeout factor makes me cringe.
If you're a believer, you might cringe at this sort of scientific question.
Many major commercial sites cringe when security researchers find a hole.
British Dictionary definitions for cringe
cringe (krɪndʒ)
1.  to shrink or flinch, esp in fear or servility
2.  to behave in a servile or timid way
3.  informal
 a.  to wince in embarrassment or distaste
 b.  to experience a sudden feeling of embarrassment or distaste
4.  the act of cringing
5.  (Austral) the cultural cringe subservience to overseas cultural standards
[Old English cringan to yield in battle; related to Old Norse krangr weak, Middle High German krenken to weaken]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cringe
early 13c., from causative of O.E. cringan "give way, fall (in battle), become bent," from P.Gmc. *krank- "bend, curl up."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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