flinch1 / flinch/ • v. [intr.] make a quick, nervous movement of the face or body as an instinctive reaction to surprise, fear or pain: she flinched at the acidity in his voice he had faced death without flinching. ∎ (flinch from) fig. avoid doing or becoming involved in (something) through fear or anxiety: I rarely flinch from a fight when I'm sure of myself.• n. [in sing.] an act of flinching: “Don't call me that,” he said with a flinch.DERIVATIVES: flinch·er n.flinch·ing·ly adv.flinch2 • v. variant spelling of flense.