Can anyone explain to me the difference between these two words? I looked up them in a dictionary but I find the both meanings to be quite similar. Also, is there any difference in their pronuncation? Thank you.

  • Both are simply ad-hoc adjectivizations of "cringe". Apparently "cringey" is listed as a "new word suggestion" by Collins, but neither is officially in a standard English dictionary yet.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 14:11
  • @HotLicks: Isn't the online Oxford Dictionary regarded as a standard dictionary? oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cringy
    – user11752
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 14:39
  • @MarkBannister - When I Googled the Oxford didn't come up.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 14:59
  • 2
    They're variant spellings of a cringeworthy word.
    – Rob_Ster
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 22:22

2 Answers 2


By contrast to the Urban Dictionary, the online Oxford Dictionary gives both spellings as variants of each other, with the following meanings:

1 Servile; cringing; timid.

2 =cringeworthy.


According to Urban dictionary there is a difference in meaning:

CRINGY: cringy is when something is just so unpleasant that it makes you literally cringe.
CRINGEY: embarrassing or making feel uncomfortable

  • 16
    I don't agree that these are "different meanings" so much as the same meaning written up by different people.
    – Casey
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 13:44
  • Urban dictionary is useful for finding unexpected exceptions to rules, but not for finding the rules themselves.
    – Aiken Drum
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 16:45

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