What Does Cringe Mean?

Cringe Meaning and How to Use This Term?

What if you see something unpleasant and in response, you can’t help yourself to express this unpleasant feeling by showing facial expression or moving away from that particular situation? What is the feeling called? Well, this article is about this particular feeling and the word used for this! We call it “Cringe”. 

What Does Cringe Mean? 

A cringe is a state of embarrassment or a feeling of disgust. If you are frightened of something or someone powerful or dangerous and in response, you move away from that particular thing or person, this is called cringe. A person who cringes on something can show this by his facial expressions or body gesture. 

What is a Cringe? 

The Oxford Dictionary defines Cringe meaning as “To experience an involuntary inward shiver of embarrassment, awkwardness, disgust, etc.,” Cringe meaning is to bend, to crouch, to move away, to shrink back. This reaction is even in response to pain, fear, or uncomfortable problems. 

Origin of Cringe 

This term has roots in Proto-Indo-European  “*grenǵʰ”, later it is turned to “kringaną” in Proto-Germanic. From here  “krangijaną” is derived and its meaning is “cause to turn/fall”.

Later on, with the evolution of the Germanic language, “krangijaną” drifted to “krenkan”. Cringe also has its origin in old English “Cringan” that indicates “to yield in battle”. In Middle English, it is modified as “crengen” and “crenchen”. And now in Modern English, the word Cringe is used more commonly. 

Cringe has been in use for many centuries but in the modern age, this word is most commonly used as slang. You can label socially awkward situations as cringe. 

How to Use Cringe?

The cringe is linked to a feeling of discomfort when something weird is happening to another person or something and you physically move your body away from this situation. 

Also, if you disagree on a fundamental level with the opinions of others, this state is called cringe. 

A type of comedy that does not make you laugh rather makes you uncomfortable is called cringe comedy. 

Interesting Facts About Cringe

  • Involuntary contraction of muscles in response to a stimulus is also called cringe. 
  • This word was used as a verb in the 13th century. Later in the 15th century, people started using it as a noun that was used in the context of humility. 
  • The cringe is an adjective, a noun, and an attitude. 
  • People have labeled the feeling of second-hand embarrassment as cringe. 
  • This word is losing its worth and meaning. A popular Twitter  @everywordiscringe account posted that “The word has become functionally meaningless.” 
  • You might have heard the word cringey compilation. Well, if you found a combination of videos or images in a cringey video, you can label them as Cringe compilation. 
  • Cringe × 100 is another term that is commonly used. If you found something or someone purely cringey you can call it Cringe × 100. 

It is cringeworthy to note that many people do not know the real connotation of cringe. Hopefully, you will be able to use this word in the right context. Also, you can master more words by following our articles. Stay in touch with us. 

Happy reading! 

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