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cringe

[krinj] /krɪndʒ/
verb (used without object), cringed, cringing.
1.
to shrink, bend, or crouch, especially in fear or servility; cower.
2.
to fawn.
noun
3.
servile or fawning deference.
Origin
1175-1225
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cringes

cringe

/krɪndʒ/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to shrink or flinch, esp in fear or servility
2.
to behave in a servile or timid way
3.
(informal)
  1. to wince in embarrassment or distaste
  2. to experience a sudden feeling of embarrassment or distaste
noun
4.
the act of cringing
5.
(Austral) the cultural cringe, subservience to overseas cultural standards
Derived Forms
cringer, noun
cringingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English cringan to yield in battle; related to Old Norse krangr weak, Middle High German krenken to weaken
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
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Word Origin and History for cringes

cringe

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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