Definition of crumple in English:



  • 1 Crush (something, typically paper or cloth) so that it becomes creased and wrinkled.

    ‘he crumpled up the paper bag’
    ‘a crumpled sheet’
    • ‘He crumpled the cloth in his hand and read the note again.’
    • ‘He stared at the half-written sentence and then crumpled the paper in his hand, tossing it onto the dying fire in the fireplace.’
    • ‘She moves cigarettes in her pack, then crumples the paper and puts it on the shelf with chocolate bars.’
    • ‘The surface is suggestive: imagine crumpling a canvas, smoothing it out and then using the tracery of creases to define areas within the final work.’
    • ‘I shook my head vigorously, crumpled the index card, and tossed it into the trash can.’
    • ‘Rual answered, crumpling the napkin into a ball.’
    • ‘I threw the pen down in frustration and crumpled the paper in one swift motion.’
    • ‘As I shoved it into my bag, I had to be especially careful not to crumple the sheet of paper than had all my science notes on it.’
    • ‘‘All right, all right,’ she muttered grumpily, gathering her stuff and crumpling the empty paper bag in one hand.’
    • ‘She crumpled up the paper she'd been absently doodling on and threw it into the wastebasket.’
    • ‘He reached into his pack and pulled out two dirty crumpled sheets of paper.’
    • ‘Taking out her slightly crumpled test paper, she hurried to the living room.’
    • ‘He crumpled up the paper in his hands, only to unfold it again.’
    • ‘I crumpled the empty paper bag and tossed it in the garbage next to the fridge.’
    • ‘I always stack the dishes and put the silverware in a glass and crumple the paper and sweep up the errant rice, because I bussed tables for many years.’
    • ‘For more insulation, put crumpled newspaper between the freezer cabinet and blankets.’
    • ‘Rue finished off the snickers bar, crumpling the wrapper and sticking it into her bag.’
    • ‘Finn crumpled the paper and threw it into the garbage can five feet away from us.’
    • ‘He stood up brusquely, crumpling the paper and tossing it at my face.’
    • ‘I accepted it and crumpled the energy bar wrapper in my other hand.’
    crease, wrinkle, crinkle, rumple, ruck up, tumble
    crush, scrunch up, screw up, squash, squeeze
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    1. 1.1[no object]Become creased, bent, or crooked.
      ‘the bumper crumpled as it glanced off the wall’
      • ‘He clenched his fists tighter and the metal crumpled in his hands like paper.’
      • ‘She looked at the wrinkled shirt, crumpled into a ball, lying on the floor.’
      • ‘An aide later found it crumpled in the general's shirt pocket.’
      • ‘These buildings may have crumpled under the pressure of the quake, but I know for sure that the people will not buckle that easily.’
      • ‘So I screwed up the picture as tightly as I could, twisting and folding and crumpling until my hands hurt and no one would see the scene again, especially not me.’
      • ‘I was sandwiched between two seats that had crumpled into each other.’
      • ‘He had heard leaves crumple under the pressure of feet, yet there were no leaves on the ground.’
      • ‘Life-saving lamp-posts which crumple if hit by a car are being tested in the Ribble Valley to see if they save lives.’
      • ‘Four wrecked cars were artfully strewn along the roadway, doors buckled, windshields smashed, engines crumpled.’
      • ‘My retinas were crumpled up like a piece of rag, and I could see nothing.’
      • ‘Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the pages crumpled against the blue tile, but I didn't care.’
      • ‘There were torn posters lying crumpled up on the floor and dirty clothes strewn all around.’
      • ‘A concrete car park, several apartment buildings and part of a hospital unexpectedly crumpled despite their steel frames.’
      • ‘How many of them actually got used, I do not know - only that I found mine crumpled in my bag several days later.’
      • ‘Five steps up the dirt path, my trachea crumpled, my vertebrae fused, and the small muscles in my back revolted and spasmed.’
      • ‘In cases of severe growth inhibition, the wings appeared crumpled with strong structural deformation.’
      • ‘An empty can of beer crumpled underneath my foot as I sat down.’
      • ‘As he constructs these hybrid works, he crumples, twists and tears at his canvases, using them more like building materials than works of fine art.’
      • ‘The frame twisted and bent and the car crumpled like cardboard.’
    2. 1.2[no object](of a person) suddenly flop down to the ground.
      ‘she crumpled to the floor in a dead faint’
      figurative ‘her composure crumpled’
      • ‘My dad crumpled like a wet Kleenex, horrified at himself, and slunked away.’
      • ‘He eventually left his victim crumpled and unconscious on the ground.’
      • ‘He yanked it free and tossed it aside, watching in satisfaction as she slowly crumpled into a heap on the floor.’
      • ‘The phone clicked back into place as Jackie crumpled onto the floor, her composure finally breaking.’
      • ‘Erik shook his head in disgust as he looked at his brother crumpled on the floor and looking so pitiful.’
      • ‘I attacked and found myself either crumpled at his feet or piled in a corner.’
      • ‘No longer awash with big-boy bravado, they have crumpled into sobbing heaps.’
      • ‘Thankfully, she didn't crumple to the ground when he released her.’
      • ‘His comrades had been studying the green leaves with interest but had jumped half a foot into the air when their companion crumpled to the ground.’
      • ‘I was expecting Stephen to lash out at her, but he just crumpled down to the floor, a single tear falling down his face.’
      • ‘He lay crumpled on a ruined street of a once high class district.’
      • ‘Tom crumpled to the ground, bleeding heavily from the right side of his face.’
      • ‘I inevitably ended up crumpled on the floor after receiving a dodgeball to the kidney.’
      • ‘I just crumpled to the floor in the hall and came round literally feeling like seconds had passed since I took the hit.’
      • ‘There was a young woman lying crumpled on the floor beside the wall.’
      • ‘Sarah crumpled into a heap of sobs against the door after he left.’
      • ‘Then the young man crumpled to the ground, with his eyes opened in shock, and his mouth gaping.’
      • ‘It broke into a thousand tiny pieces, and my mother crumpled to the ground.’
      • ‘I went into the office to find the offender, and saw a worried woman crumpled in a chair in the corner, wearing a look of weariness and doubt.’
      collapse, give way, cave in, go to pieces, break down, crumble, be overcome
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    3. 1.3[no object](of a person's face) suddenly sag and show an expression of desolation.
      ‘the child's face crumpled and he began to howl’
      • ‘Her face crumpled as tears spilled over, running down her cheeks in a torrent.’
      • ‘His shock registered immediately, but when he took in my tears and the letter in my hand, his face crumpled.’
      • ‘Her face crumples at the memories of all the disappointments since.’
      • ‘She stared at me, her face crumpled by the expression of hurt upon her face.’
      • ‘I could feel my face crumpling, and I tried to fight back the flood of emotion.’
      • ‘He handed over the receiver, watched as his boy's face crumpled, and didn't even have to ask why.’
      • ‘At this, Sarah's face crumpled, and she stood up with arms stretched out to Annie as she used to in the past.’
      • ‘Her shock wore off and her face quickly crumpled into tears.’
      • ‘But ask her if she's ever been with a man who loved her and her face crumples before the question's even finished.’
      • ‘The young black doctor smiled - then, as the slur sank in, his face crumpled.’
      • ‘Her face crumpled and tears fell silently, as she clasped her husband's arm.’
      • ‘She sits heavily down and, after a moment of composure, her face crumples and she begins to sob.’
      • ‘When she saw me, her face crumpled and she slammed her window shut.’
      • ‘At this, Darcy's face crumpled and she took the seat next to her daughters, dropping her head into her hands.’
      • ‘Dian's face crumpled, tears welled up in her eyes and threatened to fall.’
      • ‘The thought of seeing 40 faces simultaneously crumple with disbelief was too much for us to bear.’
      • ‘His right eyebrow shot up as his face crumpled up in disbelief.’
      • ‘My voice must have broken his trance, because his face crumpled and he turned away from both the children and me.’
      • ‘With her face crumpling in pain, she couldn't see past the tears that flooded down her face.’
      • ‘The watery blue eyes, peeking at you under those bushy eyebrows, the face crumpled into resignation.’
      pucker, screw up
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  • A crushed fold, crease, or wrinkle.

    • ‘I tend not to shave, and my clothes get crumples, and similar.’
    • ‘The initial sense of containment and propriety is reassuring but after 10 minutes the stains start to show and the crumples appear and I'm left craving that comfortable black jumper.’
    • ‘In the outside lane is a silver Discovery, stopped, but looking fine. Behind it is a large white van with a spare-wheel shaped crumple in the bonnet.’
    • ‘The slight hills and dips in the fields became the crumples of a quilt not completely smoothed down.’
    • ‘‘The posture of a computer-user is that of head and neck stuck forward and face peering into the screen, with the thoracic part of the spine slumped into a deep crumple,’ she says.’
    crease, fold, pucker, gather, furrow, ridge, line, corrugation, groove, crinkle, crumple, rumple
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Middle English: from obsolete crump ‘make or become curved’, from Old English crump ‘bent, crooked’, of West Germanic origin; related to German krumm.