How do you describe the state of a now-flat sheet of paper that has previously been crumpled?

Should I just use crumpled as in, "The paper is crumpled" (even though it's not in a crumpled ball shape: it's flat with lines on it that have formed from it's being crumpled previously)?

  • "The sheet has been crumpled (but no longer is)."
    – TrevorD
    Aug 20 '13 at 15:48

I think you are looking for wrinkled:

wrin·kle, noun
1. a small furrow or crease in the skin, especially of the face, as from aging or frowning.
2. a temporary slight ridge or furrow on a surface, due to contraction, folding, crushing, or the like.

The second meaning above describes uncrumpled paper perfectly:

I flattened the page out but it was still wrinkled.

  • 1
    Also creased.
    – starwed
    Aug 20 '13 at 19:53
  • 2
    To my ear, a creased sheet of paper would be one that had been neatly folded (e.g. a sheet of letter paper folded to fit into a "business envelope") and has now been unfolded and still shows the creases. A wrinkled sheet has many tiny creases instead of one or two large ones. Aug 21 '13 at 3:17

Uncrumpled, participle of uncrumple (“To return something which has been crumpled, closer to its original state”), may be a good choice. Wiktionary example sentences include:

I took the wadded up letter from the trash and carefully uncrumpled it.
As the newspaper uncrumpled, the picture on the frontpage become recognizable.


The word 'scrunched, i.e. "crumpled up", comes to mind (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scrunch)

This is definitely used in England. However, I don't think placing the prefix -un (unscrunched) works to smooth out the crumpled up paper.

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