intr.v. flinched, flinch·ing, flinch·es
1. To start or wince involuntarily, as from surprise or pain.
2. To recoil, as from something unpleasant or difficult; shrink.
An act or instance of starting, wincing, or recoiling.
[Obsolete French flenchir, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.