- crinch (dialectal)
From Middle English *crinchen, crenchen, crengen, from Old English cringan, crincan (“to yield, cringe; fall; perish, die”), from Proto-Germanic *kringaną, *krinkaną (“to fall”), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (“to twist, wind”). Cognate with Scots crenge, creinge, creenge, crienge (“to cringe, shrug”). Related to crinkle.
cringe (plural cringes)
- A posture or gesture of shrinking or recoiling.
- He glanced with a cringe at the mess on his desk.
- (dialect) A crick.
- (dated, intransitive) To bow or crouch in servility.
- Sly hypocrite, […] who more than thou / Once fawned and cringed, and servilely adored / Heaven's awful monarch?
- 1903, W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk,
- He heard the hateful clank of their chains; he felt them cringe and grovel, and there rose within him a protest and a prophecy.
- 1904, Jack London, Batard in The Faith of Men,
- Leclere was bent on the coming of the day when Batard should wilt in spirit and cringe and whimper at his feet.
- (intransitive) To shrink, tense or recoil, as in fear, disgust or embarrassment.
- He cringed as the bird collided with the window.
- When they were come up to the place where the lions were, the boys that went before were glad to cringe behind, for they were afraid of the lions.
- 1917, Jack London, Jerry of the Islands,
- But he made no whimper. Nor did he wince or cringe to the blows. He bored straight in, striving, without avoiding a blow, to beat and meet the blow with his teeth.
- (transitive, obsolete) To contract; to draw together; to cause to shrink or wrinkle; to distort.
- Till like a boy you see him cringe his face, / And whine aloud for mercy.