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  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Cringe  \Cringe\  (kr?nj),  v.  t.  [imp.  &  p.  p.  {Crnged}  (kr?njd); 
  p.  pr  &  vb  n.  {Cringing}.]  [As.  crincgang  cringan 
  crincan  to  jield,  fall;  akin  to  E.  crank.] 
  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. 
  When  they  were  come  up  to  the  place  where  the  lions 
  were  the  boys  that  went  before  were  glad  to  cringe 
  behind,  for  they  were  afraid  of  the  lions.  --Bunyan. 
  Sly  hypocrite,  .  .  .  who  more  than  thou  Once  fawned  and 
  cringed,  and  servilely  adored  Heaven's  awful  monarch? 
  Flatterers  .  .  .  are  always  bowing  and  cringing.