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[ring-kuh l] /ˈrɪŋ kəl/
a small furrow or crease in the skin, especially of the face, as from aging or frowning.
a temporary slight ridge or furrow on a surface, due to contraction, folding, crushing, or the like.
verb (used with object), wrinkled, wrinkling.
to form wrinkles in; corrugate; crease:
Don't wrinkle your dress.
verb (used without object), wrinkled, wrinkling.
to become wrinkled.
Origin of wrinkle1
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (noun), back formation from wrinkled, Old English gewrinclod, past participle of gewrinclian to wind round; perhaps akin to wrick, wrench


[ring-kuh l] /ˈrɪŋ kəl/
noun, Informal.
an ingenious trick or device; a clever innovation:
a new advertising wrinkle.
1375-1425; late Middle English, equivalent to wrinc trick (Old English wrenc; see wrench) + -le Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wrinkle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Well, it ain't Sunday, nor camp-meetin'," wrinkle made answer.

    Dixie Hart Will N. Harben
  • He said if they was any longer they'd wrinkle under the arms.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Occasionally there is a tendency to wrinkle the nose or the forehead.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • The third might have been in a wrinkle of the bag, without your feeling it!

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • She bustled on about her work when Mrs. Davis was gone, but her brow was knit into a wrinkle of deep thought.

    The Uncalled Paul Laurence Dunbar
British Dictionary definitions for wrinkle


a slight ridge in the smoothness of a surface, such as a crease in the skin as a result of age
to make or become wrinkled, as by crumpling, creasing, or puckering
Derived Forms
wrinkleless, adjective
wrinkly, adjective
Word Origin
C15: back formation from wrinkled, from Old English gewrinclod, past participle of wrinclian to wind around; related to Swedish vrinka to sprain, Lithuanian reñgti to twist. See wrench


(informal) a clever or useful trick, hint, or dodge
Word Origin
Old English wrenc trick; related to Middle Low German wrank struggle, Middle High German ranc sudden turn. See wrench
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 wrinkle

c.1400 (implied in wrinkling), probably from stem of Old English gewrinclod "wrinkled, crooked, winding," past participle of gewrinclian "to wind, crease," from perfective prefix ge- + -wrinclian "to wind," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan (see wrench (v.)). Related: Wrinkled.


"fold or crease in the extenal body," late 14c.; in cloth or clothing from early 15c., probably from wrinkle (v.). Meaning "defect, problem" first recorded 1640s; that of "idea, device, notion" (especially a new one) is from 1817.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wrinkle

wriggle out

verb phrase

To avoid or evade something (1848+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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