crumple

Crumple is a verb that means to become wrinkled or creased. Your face might crumple over time as you age, or you might crumple a piece of paper before tossing it in the trash.

Crumple comes from the Old English word crump meaning "bent, crooked," and it can describe something that has buckled or collapsed. If you're jumping up and down on a cardboard box, it'll eventually crumple under your weight and fold in on itself. Make sure you don't confuse crumple with the similar looking crumble, which means to break apart into small fragments. If you crumple something, it stays in one piece — it's just wrinkled or folded.

Primary Meanings of crumple

1.
v
gather something into small wrinkles or folds
2.
v
fold or collapse
Full Definitions of crumple
1

v gather something into small wrinkles or folds

Synonyms:
cockle, knit, pucker, rumple
draw
contract
Type of:
crease, crinkle, crisp, ruckle, scrunch, scrunch up, wrinkle
make wrinkles or creases on a smooth surface; make a pressed, folded or wrinkled line in

v become wrinkled or crumpled or creased

Synonyms:
crease, crinkle, rumple, wrinkle
Type of:
fold, fold up
become folded or folded up
2

v fold or collapse

Synonyms:
buckle
Type of:
break, cave in, collapse, fall in, founder, give, give way
break down, literally or metaphorically

v fall apart

Synonyms:
break down, collapse, crumble, tumble
Type of:
change integrity
change in physical make-up

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.