• WordNet 3.6
    • v flinch draw back, as with fear or pain "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf"
    • n flinch a reflex response to sudden pain
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Flinch The act of flinching.
    • Flinch (Croquet) To let the foot slip from a ball, when attempting to give a tight croquet.
    • Flinch To withdraw from any suffering or undertaking, from pain or danger; to fail in doing or perserving; to show signs of yielding or of suffering; to shrink; to wince; as, one of the parties flinched from the combat. "A child, by a constant course of kindness, may be accustomed to bear very rough usage without flinching or complaining."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • flinch To give way to fear or to a sense of pain; shrink back from anything painful or dangerous; manifest a feeling or a fear of suffering or injury of any kind; draw back from any act or undertaking through dread of consequences; shrink; wince: as, the pain was severe, but he did not flinch.
    • flinch In croquet, to allow the foot to slip from the ball in the act of croqueting.
    • flinch Same as flense.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Flinch flinsh to shrink back: to fail
    • ***


  • Theodore Roosevelt
    “Don't foul, don't flinch. Hit the line hard.”
  • Winston Churchill
    “Danger -- if you meet it promptly and without flinching -- you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
  • Henry Kissinger
    “Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Prob. fr. OE. flecchen, to waver, give way, F. fléchir, fr. L. flectere, to bend; but prob. influenced by E. blench,. Cf. Flex
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. flecchen—O. Fr. fléchir, prob. from L. flectĕre, to bend.


In literature:

She wreathed her slender neck haughtily while she met her rival's glance without flinching.
"Guy Livingstone;" by George A. Lawrence
The Masked Lady flinched a little, though she smiled too.
"Everychild" by Louis Dodge
She never flinched when any exaction was required.
"Lady Rosamond's Secret" by Rebecca Agatha Armour
Babington flinched and confessed, and they were all hanged.
"English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century" by James Anthony Froude
But our Lord's line of defence never flinched.
"Quiet Talks on Following the Christ" by S. D. Gordon
A very faint tinge of colour crept over her pallor, but she made no signs of flinching.
"The Swindler and Other Stories" by Ethel M. Dell
There can be no flinching from it.
"Caves of Terror" by Talbot Mundy
The Dutch never flinched.
"Flag and Fleet" by William Wood
Not once did the giant priest flinch or writhe at the torture stake.
"Canada: the Empire of the North" by Agnes C. Laut
Wolf was very pale, and beads of sweat were starting on his brow, but the blue eyes never flinched.
"Marion's Faith." by Charles King

In poetry:

O self-questioner! None
Unlocks your answer. Steadily look, nor flinch.
This belongs to your kind,
And knows its aim and fails not itself at a pinch.
"Commercial" by Robert Laurence Binyon
Bravely to do whate'er the time demands,
Whether with pen or sword, and not to flinch,
This is the task that fits heroic hands;
So are Truth's boundaries widened inch by inch.
"Freedom" by James Russell Lowell
Whirling of outer space, too black, too near--
But he was taught as a puppy not to flinch,
Much less to imitate his bête noire Blanche
Who barked, fat foolish creature, at King Lear.
"The Victor Dog" by James Merrill
Yes, the villain tried hard to swear his life away,
But God protected him by night and by day,
And during his long trial in London, without dismay,
The noble patriot never flinched nor tried to run away.
"Richard Pigott, the Forger" by William Topaz McGonagall
You must face the general foe —
A phantom pale and grim.
If you flinch at his glare, he'll grow
And gather your strength to him;
But your power will rise if you laugh in his eyes and away in a mist
he'll swim.
"Wilfred" by John Le Gay Brereton
While the British troops most firmly stood,
And advanced against a savage horde concealed in a wood,
Yet the men never flinched, but entered the wood fearlessly,
And all at once the silence was broken by a roar of musketry.
"The Ashantee War" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

In "The Mechanic, " Jason Statham plays a stoic, tough-as-nails assassin, the kind of guy who kills without flinching.
I was expecting to flinch but didn't as I watched his execution from the witness room.
Don't flinch Ducks best in red zone defense.
He doesn't flinch all the time.
Defendant doesn't flinch when when shown autopsy photos at Jersey City murder trial.
Calipari's team refuses to blink, flinch or crack.
Obama's fatal flinch on immigration reform.
Defense Secretary Robert McNamara didn't flinch from his record.
'Fiscal cliff' looms, but no one is flinching .
Fans flinching at a Henry Rodriguez wild pitch.
ANAHEIM, Calif – The Rangers are the two-time AL champions, the cool, calm and collected guys who have been battle-tested and who won't flinch at crucial moments.
Worried Obama will flinch in nuclear talks.
But chances are, the Bucs' defensive backs and linebackers are still flinching at the memories of how badly they got burned throughout the game.
Fans flinching at a Henry Rodriguez wild pitch .
Illini impress Groce by taking Gonzaga's best shot and not flinching.