Definition of flinch in English:


Syllabification: flinch
Pronunciation: /flin(t)SH


[no object]
1Make a quick, nervous movement of the face or body as an instinctive reaction to surprise, fear or pain: she flinched at the acidity in his voice he had faced death without flinching
More example sentences
  • Dawn flinched at the pain but attempted to ignore it.
  • He softly brushed over the gash in my face, I flinched at the pain.
  • I flinched at the unanticipated pain that surfaced suddenly.
wince, start, shudder, quiver, jerk, shy
1.1 (flinch from) Avoid doing or becoming involved in (something) through fear or anxiety: I rarely flinch from a fight when I’m sure of myself
More example sentences
  • He did not flinch from speaking his mind.
  • Campbell's loyalty to Blair has never wavered and he has never flinched from confronting the journalists or newspapers who dared to stand in the way of the New Labour experiment.
  • While a lot of people didn't mind doing the laundry, many flinched from ploughing through piles of ironing.
shrink from, recoil from, shy away from, swerve from, demur from;
dodge, evade, avoid, duck, balk at, jib at, quail at, fight shy of


[in singular] Back to top  
An act of flinching: “Don’t call me that,” he said with a flinch
More example sentences
  • Even an alarm clock buzzing right beside her head or a horn blowing near her ear wouldn't make her twitch or cause even the slightest flinch.
  • He felt her hand clasp on top of his, but he didn't move his, not even a flinch as she touched.
  • She painlessly moves back and forth from fiddle to guitar, singing to whistling, without so much as a flinch.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'slink or sneak off'): from Old French flenchir 'turn aside', of West Germanic origin and related to German lenken 'to guide, steer'.



More example sentences
  • The flincher is the loser (This is why Jerrie needs to practice more. She’s a flincher).
  • Luckily for me, I'm not a flincher when it comes to needles.


More example sentences
  • For any of you who have sat university finals, or academic finals at any level, I am sure the scene is flinchingly familiar. ‘Tis the season, however, and next month a lot of lives, careers and hopes will take a turn for the better or the worse.
  • She walks to me, slowly, flinchingly, and let's me engulf her in a hug.
  • He had said it sort of flinchingly, knowing I was a Mormon.

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