One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Cringing; servile. rare.
A cringing or servile person, a sycophant; a coward.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Urquhart (1611–1660), author and translator. From cringe + -ling. The use as adjective probably arose from the use as noun, and hence probably implies earlier currency of the noun.
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