Cringe Slang: Meaning, Origin, Sentence Examples

Written by Gabriel Cruz - Slang & Language Enthusiast

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(Adjective) Cringe is one of the most popular Gen Z slang used today. It describes the feeling of secondhand embarrassment, an embarrassment when a person watches or reads something awkward.


Cringe comes from the Old English word “cringan” which means to give way or to bend, which is exactly what your body does when you cringe because of an awkward situation.

Demographic (Who Uses This Word)

Today, the young and old use the word cringe, since it has been popularized by Gen Z on social media. It is now used as an expression when faced with an awkward situation,

Cringe Used in a Sentence

  • Example 1: I cringe whenever I read my ex’s messages.
  • Example 2: Why are you talking to your crush in an awkward way? Cringe!

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