What does cringe mean?


Cringe describes a very unsettling experience, such as a couple breaking up in front of you or a boss reprimanding an employee in front of their co-workers. The term comes from the cringing facial expression when reacting to something embarrassing or unpleasant.

Cringe is the shortened version of "cringeworthy," which also refers to anything super awkward or disagreeable. Most people that say "cringe" are teenage or young adult females. While you may hear the term said out loud, you will most likely see it in texts or social media, like Instagram or Twitter.

Because cringe communicates disgust, you can also use it when you want to show disagreement. For example, if your friend asks you if you want tacos tonight and you don't, you could reply with "Cringe."


That lecture was so cringe
I know, I wanted to die!

A common sentiment among teenagers.

Related Slang


Updated November 2, 2021

Cringe definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Cringe" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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