from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To shrink back, as in fear; cower.
- intransitive v. To behave in a servile way; fawn.
- n. An act or instance of cringing.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A posture or gesture of shrinking or recoiling.
- n. A crick.
- v. To bow or crouch in servility.
- v. To shrink, tense or recoil, as in fear, disgust or embarrassment.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To draw one's self together as in fear or servility; to bend or crouch with base humility; to wince; hence, to make court in a degrading manner; to fawn.
- transitive v. To contract; to draw together; to cause to shrink or wrinkle; to distort.
- n. Servile civility; fawning; a shrinking or bowing, as in fear or servility.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To bend; crouch; especially, to bend or crouch with servility or from fear or cowardice; fawn; cower.
- Synonyms To stoop, truckle.
- To contract; distort.
- n. A servile or fawning obeisance.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. show submission or fear
- v. draw back, as with fear or pain
Middle English crengen, to bend haughtily, probably ultimately from Old English cringan, to give way.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via Middle English, from Old English cringan. (Wiktionary)