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From Middle English crumplen, cromplen, frequentative of Middle English crumpen (to curl up, crump), from Old English crump (bent, crooked). Equivalent to crump +‎ -le.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɹʌmpəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌmpəl


crumple (plural crumples)

  1. A crease, wrinkle, or irregular fold.


crumple (third-person singular simple present crumples, present participle crumpling, simple past and past participle crumpled)

  1. (transitive) To rumple; to press into wrinkles by crushing together.
    He crumpled the note and threw it away.
  2. (transitive) To cause to collapse.
    He crumpled the car's body panels when he backed into a post.
  3. (intransitive) To become wrinkled.
    The car's body panels crumpled when they hit the post.
  4. (intransitive, figurative) To collapse; to surrender.
    Synonyms: buckle; cave; cave in; fold
    Coordinate term: crumble
    The team's defensive strategy crumpled.
    The defenders crumpled owing to exhaustion and dehydration.
    • 2017 June 3, Daniel Taylor, “Real Madrid win Champions League as Cristiano Ronaldo double defeats Juv”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      Yes, Juve were unfortunate, in the extreme, with the deflected goal from Casemiro that gave Madrid a 2-1 lead just after the hour. From that point onwards, however, it was staggering to see a team renowned for defensive structure crumple this way.

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