I am someone who cringes when I hear a description of a sprained ankle.
“When his name is in the paper, he cringes,” says a Hill veteran.
He cringes at the thought of going on a talk show and does not particularly enjoy premiere walks along the red carpet.
He crawls and cringes and flatters and lies and swaggers and brags and tells of the influence he has in the ward he lives in.
He swears by the State and the army, and cringes before the power of money.
Now, with many an obeisance, he cringes timidly towards the foot of the das steps; and when the great man says Come!
"Either beats or cringes," said Wemmick, not at all addressing himself to me.
He may cringe and growl, or cringe and not growl; but he either beats or cringes.
He was like a dog that has been too much beaten, and cringes even before it is struck.
Speak harshly to him, or scold him, and see how he cringes down, and tucks his tail between his legs.
early 13c., from causative of Old English cringan "give way, fall (in battle), become bent," from Proto-Germanic *krank- "bend, curl up" (cf. Old Norse kringr, Dutch kring, German Kring "circle, ring"). Related: Cringed; cringing. As a noun from 1590s.