One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘I cringe in terror every time I have to face him’
cower, shrink, draw back, pull back, recoil, start, shy, shy away, wince, flinch, blench, blanch, dodge, duck, crouch, shudder, shake, tremble, quiver, quail, quake
get cold feet
2‘it makes me cringe when I think how stupid I was’
wince, squirm, blush, flush, go red
feel embarrassed, feel ashamed, feel sheepish, feel mortified, wince with embarrassment
3‘he was always cringing to the queen’
kowtow, bow and scrape, grovel, creep, crawl, toady, fawn, truckle, cower
be servile towards, be sycophantic towards, dance attendance on, ingratiate oneself with, curry favour with
flatter, woo, pay court to, get round
informal suck up to, make up to, lick someone's boots, be all over, fall all over, sweet-talk, soft-soap, brown-nose
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