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flinch (verb) shrink or move suddenly (your face or body).
When you flinch, you move your face or body away suddenly in pain (of having been hit or injured), fear, surprise, or shock. When in the shock of seeing a fearful sight, you move your face away or shrink, you flinch. You flinch on having been ordered to do something unpleasant you don't want to do. That is, you show your unwillingness by moving away your face or your body on knowing it. You do not flinch if you are prepared to face any unpleasant sight or do something that requires courage.
- Jeremy flinched as he opened the door and in the dimness of the evening, discovered a body lying on the floor.
- Nick never flinched even in the worst circumstances. Rather, he faced all such situations bravely and came out the winner.