Definition of wrinkle in US English:



  • 1A slight line or fold in something, especially fabric or the skin of the face.

    • ‘This sometimes results in fleeting wrinkles being ironed into permanent pleats or, worse, seeming indelible when they've already washed away.’
    • ‘Sunbeds can also speed up thinning of the skin, the development of wrinkles and fine lines, and many other changes that we usually associate with aging.’
    • ‘She works for months to build the cracks, bumps and wrinkles on the skins of the figures in her paintings.’
    • ‘Her curly dark brown hair, fell softly into her eyes and you could see the slight wrinkles forming around her mouth from the daily stress of running a single parent household.’
    • ‘There are all manner of expensive injectable treatments that will fill lines, wrinkles and folds, but they only last for six to 12 months.’
    • ‘There, it is a sharply bent elbow or a protruding knee that becomes a kind of fulcrum and guide for radiating and zigzagging patterns of wrinkles and folds in the draperies.’
    • ‘Although the effects of laser resurfacing can last for years, wrinkles and expression lines recur as skin ages.’
    • ‘Lack of moisture is one of the major reasons that the lines and wrinkles on your skin become more apparent.’
    • ‘Proper skin treatment helps you get a young and smooth skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and wrinkles and helps protect your skin from the harmful elements that cause aging.’
    • ‘Laser resurfacing can erase lines and wrinkles, but occasionally skin texture and color can change with this treatment.’
    • ‘Skin damage, including lines and wrinkles, can actually start showing up in your 20s.’
    • ‘Delicately carved multiple folds at various angles can be easily compared to fine wrinkles on silk fabric.’
    • ‘When used correctly, glycolic acid can provide gentle exfoliation that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and makes skin more radiant.’
    • ‘The wrinkles creasing the skin confirmed that she was older than I thought.’
    • ‘Soft lighting minimizes lines and wrinkles and gives your skin a bit of a glow.’
    • ‘It was most likely a rumpling of that portion of his suit jacket, or a wrinkle in the fabric.’
    • ‘The peel will reduce fine lines and wrinkles, smooth the skin, reduce pore size, even skin tone and improve elasticity.’
    • ‘Increasingly this year I have noticed lines and wrinkles and baggy eyes that I haven't been aware of before.’
    • ‘I smoothed some minor wrinkles from my blue blouse as I looked myself up and down.’
    • ‘First, the artisan chose a suitable length of cloth and laid it out on a flat surface, making sure that there were no wrinkles or folds.’
    crease, fold, pucker, gather, furrow, ridge, line, corrugation, groove, crinkle, crumple, rumple
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    1. 1.1informal A minor difficulty; a snag.
      ‘the organizers have the wrinkles pretty well ironed out’
      • ‘We always felt once we had ironed out the wrinkles we could develop our game.’
      • ‘Brand says many of the complaints were ‘legitimate and fair,’ and he believes he and his staff have ironed out most of the wrinkles.’
      • ‘This is a little riskier, but ten years should be long enough for any stock market wrinkles to be ironed out.’
      • ‘The theory of punctuated equilibrium will come to be seen in proportion, as an interesting but minor wrinkle on the surface of Neo-Darwinian theory.’
      • ‘A spokesman told El Reg: ‘We haven't had any complaints over the weekend, so we think the wrinkles have been ironed out.’’
      • ‘A coach has to help the members of the time iron out the wrinkles in their game, like correcting someone's stance, bowling actions, grip, etc.’
      • ‘Since then we've corresponded quite a bit, met in person, and now I'm helping co-produce his film and he's helping me iron out the wrinkles in my script.’
      • ‘Her brief monologue as an Eastern European immigrant points the show in an interesting direction, but Naked Heart's other wrinkles need to be ironed out.’
      • ‘The simple fact is that it was not given sufficient time to iron out all the wrinkles before the scheme started.’
      • ‘It's difficult to escape the feeling that this production is just a dry run to iron out the wrinkles for the rose-tinted gaze of an Irish-American audience.’
      • ‘Indeed, each patient seems to add a new wrinkle to an age-old problem.’
      • ‘Testing, he argues, has had positive consequences in some states, and the wrinkles in the system can be ironed out in the years ahead.’
      • ‘It is an absolutely perfect method for controlling the screen and with a few little wrinkles to iron out, could replace the mouse in just a few years.’
      • ‘It stands to reason that the occasional melodic wrinkle that pops up here should be fairly well ironed out by their next effort, which I'll be looking forward to.’
      • ‘Although we have some concerns with the bill as proposed, our reason for supporting it is the opportunity to iron out its wrinkles in the select committee process.’
      • ‘With that the pair of rebels took their leave of the chief and went to iron out all the wrinkles in their plans.’
      • ‘The developers have taken a solid game, added new features and ironed out a few wrinkles.’
      • ‘Look at it through Mr Woods' eyes, however, and it becomes clear that all we have suffered is a minor wrinkle in our otherwise impeccable existence.’
      • ‘The few wrinkles in the program have been ironed out for year two.’
  • 2informal A clever innovation, or useful piece of information or advice.

    ‘learning the wrinkles from someone more experienced saves time’
    • ‘The revamped standard of officiating and new rule wrinkles enhanced the postseason action, giving fans the most entertaining run for the Cup in over a decade.’
    • ‘But, there have been enough wrinkles in recent events to suggest that we are not simply seeing the standard food chain of capitalism in action.’
    guideline, hint, tip, pointer, clue, cue, suggestion, piece of advice, word of advice
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[with object]often as adjective wrinkled
  • 1Make or cause lines or folds in (something, especially fabric or the skin)

    ‘Dotty's wrinkled stockings’
    • ‘Twenty years had wrinkled his face and whitened his hair, but he still had certain brightness in the eyes.’
    • ‘As smoking also causes wrinkled, damaged skin, giving up is likely to make you look better too.’
    • ‘Hallie laid the dress she picked out for the festivities on the bed, careful not to wrinkle the fabric.’
    • ‘Tel reached into a fold in her tunic and brought forth a somewhat wrinkled manuscript written on new, white parchment.’
    • ‘I also love the slight crust that they develop during the last stage of cooking, and the contrast between the tender flesh and the slightly wrinkled skin.’
    • ‘She folded up that wrinkled piece of paper and walked down the steps.’
    • ‘Free radical damage can also wrinkle your skin and weaken your heart.’
    • ‘The patient's graying hair and wrinkled forehead indicated her advanced age.’
    • ‘Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.’
    • ‘He could feel her bones through the soft, wrinkled, sun-spotted skin.’
    • ‘It has come to imply decrepitude: down-at-heel shoes, wrinkled stockings, woolly hats and trousers kept up by bits of string.’
    • ‘She greeted us dressed in slippers, thick wrinkled tights and a worn apron over her fading dress, the Nora Batty of northern Italy, and showed us to the pen where she feeds her herd.’
    • ‘I expected to see the face of someone young, but instead I saw the old and wrinkled face of a man looking older than anyone I had ever met.’
    • ‘Maria tried to pack their new clothes as carefully as possible into her traveling bag, trying hard not to wrinkle the delicate fabrics.’
    • ‘When she was out of the room her mother laid down her sponge and sighed, her hands aching and the soap wrinkling her skin.’
    • ‘It was a wrinkled plain brown shirt, having been folded into a ball and pushed into the back of his closet, but it was clean nonetheless.’
    • ‘I held the fabric, wrinkling it in my grip, trying to fight the urge to bite my lip yet again and appear too nervous.’
    • ‘The Native Americans were big into age, deeply wrinkled old chiefs with long, plaited grey hair were figures of wisdom and respect.’
    • ‘Decreased production of natural oils may make your skin drier and more wrinkled.’
    • ‘One old man looked up at her and a tear rolled down his singed and wrinkled old face.’
    creased, wrinkly, lined, covered with lines, crinkled, crinkly, furrowed, grooved, ridged, crumpled, puckered, shrivelled, wizened
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    1. 1.1 Grimace and cause wrinkles on (a part of the face)
      ‘he sniffed and wrinkled his nose’
      • ‘A strong cringe wrinkled his face and he moaned loudly as he closed his eyes again.’
      • ‘Catalyne wrinkled her nose, her entire face contorting with disgust.’
      • ‘She wrinkled her nose and twisted her mouth in that appealing grimace of hers, then silently nodded and opened the door part-way.’
      • ‘His executive assistant Robyn Cheung sniffed at the black currant muffin in her hand and wrinkled her nose.’
      • ‘She wrinkled her nose and murmured curses under her breath.’
      • ‘Hauser is about as bland as they come, robotically experiencing happiness, pain, and anger without ever messing his dyed hair or wrinkling his smoothed face.’
      • ‘Gil chuckled, his protective eyes wrinkling his face in the dim light.’
      • ‘Charlie, who was unaccustomed to medical facilities of any kind, wrinkled her nose at the antiseptic appearance of the room.’
      • ‘Sapphire tried the cheese and wrinkled her face in disgust.’
      • ‘Sarah smiled and wrinkled her nose with a smirk on her face.’
      • ‘Picking up a baby blue Roxy shirt, she wrinkled her nose and tossed it back into the ever-growing pile of clothes on the floor behind her.’
      • ‘She wrinkled her nose and took the bag in her small hand.’
      • ‘I surreptitiously sniffed at my own armpits and wrinkled my nose a little.’
      • ‘Teiala wrinkled her face in confusion as they headed back for the library.’
      • ‘I sniffed them and wrinkled my nose and the nurse, Nurse Annie, laughed.’
      • ‘She wrinkled her nose in distaste, gesturing to her clothing.’
      • ‘She wrinkled her nose as she caught a whiff of disinfectant.’
      • ‘Dilip Kumar, the great romantic hero, we saw, wrinkled his nose at her background.’
      • ‘Malvina looked across at her patient, a slight frown wrinkling her young face as she wondered at his ill-health.’
      • ‘Kendall wrinkled her nose enhancing her freckles splattered across her face.’
    2. 1.2no object Form or become marked with lines or folds.
      ‘her brow wrinkled’
      • ‘His brow wrinkled as his thoughts drifted back fifteen years ago, to events that were forever etched into his memory.’
      • ‘Katy's brow wrinkled and she tensed, preparing herself for the instructions coming.’
      • ‘‘Lips can line and wrinkle easily if not looked after properly and this can make your face look older,’ said Lisa Sharratt of balm-makers Lypsyl.’
      • ‘Her blue eyes were narrowed, her mouth scrunched up, her forehead wrinkled.’
      • ‘And ooh, I could just see the noses wrinkling and the brows furrowing.’
      • ‘His brow wrinkled as if to ask me what was wrong, and I just sighed.’
      • ‘Mr. Fenton gazed at her for a time with his brows somewhat wrinkled.’
      • ‘She frowned at him and the corners of her mouth wrinkled up drawing her mouth into a thin little red painted line across her face.’
      • ‘Lisle stockings were compulsory and much disliked as they did not fit well and wrinkled at the ankles.’
      • ‘There was a slight scowl on his face as his lips tightened to a thin line and his brow wrinkled in irritated contemplation.’
      • ‘Linda's lips wrinkled down, a strand of hair pasted against her cheek.’
      • ‘He paused for a moment, obviously thinking as his tan brow wrinkled.’
      • ‘Is there any food you can eat, supplement you can take, or nutrient-rich lotion you can rub on that will keep your skin from sagging and wrinkling as you age?’
      • ‘A vast brown curtain, wrinkled and puckered and covered in fine brown hairs, was stretched across a wide opening.’
      • ‘His brow wrinkled with contemplation at the events unfolding before him.’
      • ‘His forehead wrinkled, and I saw the lines of worry on his face.’
      • ‘She seemed about the same age as Mrs Lewis up at the hotel, thought Chrissy, but her face was prematurely wrinkled, weathered by sun and saltwater.’
      • ‘He was completely bald, so when his brow wrinkled, everything on his head wrinkled.’
      • ‘Adam recoiled, and his brow wrinkled in confusion.’
      • ‘Kuper queried, his eyebrows forming a crease in his forehead as it wrinkled in confusion.’
      crease, pucker, gather, furrow, line, cover with lines, corrugate, crinkle, crimp, crumple, rumple, ruck up, scrunch up
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Late Middle English: origin obscure, possibly a back-formation from the Old English past participle gewrinclod ‘sinuous’ (of which no infinitive is recorded).