Cringy or Cringey: What is Correct?

Understanding the difference between “Cringy vs. Cringey” can help us use these words correctly. Both words are used to describe something that makes us feel uncomfortable, but they are spelled differently. Let’s explore how to use them in the right way. By learning about these words, we can improve our writing and speaking skills.

The Main Difference Between Cringy and Cringey

Cringy vs. Cringey: Understanding the Variations in Spelling Pin

Cringy vs. Cringey: Key Takeaways

  • Cringy: Functions predominantly as an adjective; less commonly used.
  • Cringey: Preferred adjective form; commonly accepted spelling to describe awkward or embarrassing situations.

Cringy vs. Cringey: The Definition

What Does Cringy Mean?

Cringy is a slang term used to describe something that causes a feeling of discomfort, embarrassment, or awkwardness. When something is labeled as “cringy,” it typically means that it elicits a strong negative reaction due to being perceived as awkward, embarrassing, or inauthentic. This can apply to various forms of content, behavior, or expressions that make others feel uncomfortable or secondhand embarrassment. The term is often used in informal conversations, particularly in online and youth culture, to express disdain or disapproval for something that is perceived as socially awkward or uncool.


  • I can’t believe she posted such a cringy photo of herself online.

What Does Cringey Mean?

Cringey is the adjective that describes something that is awkward, embarrassing, or induces a feeling of discomfort. It is the more widely accepted spelling when describing something that makes you cringe. Cringey and cringy are the two variations of the same word with the same meaning.

For example, a cringey joke might be one that falls flat and makes others feel awkward, while a cringey moment might be a socially awkward interaction. The term “cringey” is commonly used in online and youth culture to describe things that are awkward or embarrassing in a way that makes others feel uncomfortable.


  • I couldn’t help but feel cringey watching the character’s clumsy attempts at romance in the movie.

Cringy vs. Cringey: Examples

Example Sentences Using Cringy

  • You may find a low-budget film cringy if the acting is unconvincing or the dialogue feels forced.
  • That joke didn’t land well; it was pretty cringy.
  • The cringy pickup lines he used at the bar made everyone uncomfortable.
  • Her attempt at imitating a British accent was so cringy that it became the talk of the office.
  • I had to change the channel because the show’s humor was just too cringy for me to handle.
  • The video of the failed magic trick was undeniably cringy to watch.
  • His desperate attempts to flirt with her were painfully cringy to witness.
  • The cringy karaoke performance left the audience wincing in embarrassment.

Example Sentences Using Cringey

  • The way he boasts about his minor achievements at work is really cringey.
  • It was truly cringey watching the interviewer ask such personal questions.
  • The cringey TikTok video went viral for all the wrong reasons.
  • Her awkward jokes at the party made for a cringey atmosphere.
  • I couldn’t help but feel cringey watching the character’s clumsy attempts at romance in the movie.
  • The cringey moment when he mistook her mother for her sister was unforgettable.
  • The cringey dialogue in the play left the audience squirming in their seats.
  • It was a cringey experience listening to his off-key singing during the talent show.

Related Confused Words

Cringe vs. Cringy 

Cringe” is often used as a verb or noun to describe the act of feeling embarrassed or awkward, or the feeling itself. For example, “I cringed when I saw the awkward interaction” or “That moment was a cringe.”

On the other hand, “cringy” is an adjective used to describe something that causes the feeling of cringing. For example, “His jokes are so cringy” or “The video was cringy to watch.”

In short, “cringe” is used to describe the feeling or action of being embarrassed or awkward, while “cringy” is used to describe something that elicits that feeling.

Awkward vs. Cringey 

Awkward” generally describes a situation or behavior that is uncomfortable, clumsy, or socially inept. It can refer to a lack of smoothness or grace in social interactions, physical movements, or speech. For example, a conversation that is stilted and uncomfortable might be described as awkward.

Cringey,” on the other hand, specifically refers to something that is so embarrassing or uncomfortable that it makes others cringe. It often implies a higher level of discomfort or secondhand embarrassment than simply being awkward. For example, a cringey video might feature someone making a failed attempt at humor that causes discomfort for the audience.

In summary, “awkward” describes a general sense of discomfort or clumsiness, while “cringey” specifically conveys a feeling of secondhand embarrassment or discomfort.

Embarrassment vs. Cringy

Embarrassment” generally refers to the feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or discomfort that arises from a social situation, mistake, or awkward moment. It is a personal emotion experienced by an individual in response to a specific event or circumstance. For example, someone might feel embarrassment after tripping in public or making a social faux pas.

Cringy,” on the other hand, is often used to describe something that causes secondhand embarrassment or discomfort in others. It refers to content, behavior, or actions that elicit a feeling of awkwardness or discomfort in those who witness or experience it. For example, a cringy joke might make others feel uncomfortable due to its awkwardness or lack of humor.

In summary, “embarrassment” refers to an individual’s personal feeling of discomfort or shame, while “cringy” describes something that causes discomfort or secondhand embarrassment in others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct spelling: cringy or cringey?

Both “cringy” and “cringey” are acceptable spelling variations of the adjective form of the verb “cringe.” The usage of each varies, but “cringey” is often observed to be more popular in recent writing.

What does the term ‘cringe’ signify when describing a person?

When someone is described as ‘cringe,’ it typically denotes that they are inducing a feeling of embarrassment or second-hand discomfort in others through their actions or statements.

In what contexts can the word ‘cringey’ be appropriately used?

The word ‘cringey’ can be used in contexts where something elicits a strong sense of vicarious embarrassment or awkwardness, often due to perceived social missteps or uncomfortable behavior.

Is there a difference between the usage of ‘cringy’ or ‘cringey’ in the UK?

Usage trends may vary between regions, including the UK. However, there is no formal distinction in meaning, and both spellings are understood in UK English.

What are some synonyms for the term ‘cringy’?

Synonyms for ‘cringy’ include awkward, embarrassing, uncomfortable, or wince-inducing. Each synonym carries a similar connotation of discomfort.

Can you provide an example sentence using the word ‘cringe’?

Sure. You might say, “I couldn’t help but cringe when I heard the comedian’s joke fall flat in front of the silent audience.”