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  Dictionary Definition of cringe

cringe
verb (i) ( cringed, cringing )
1. to shrink, bend, or crouch, especially from fear or servility; cower.
2. to fawn.
-- noun
3. servile or fawning obeisance.
[ME crengen, from OE cringan yield, fall (in battle). See CRINKLE, CRANK1 ]
-- cringer, noun -- cringingly, adjective