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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Flinch \Flinch\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Flinched; p. pr. & vb. n. Flinching.] [Prob. fr. OE. flecchen to waver, give way, F. fl['e]chir, fr. L. flectere to bend; but prob. influenced by E. blench. Cf. Flex.] 1. To withdraw from any suffering or undertaking, from pain or danger; to fail in doing or perserving; to show signs of yielding or of suffering; to shrink; to wince; as, one of the parties flinched from the combat. [1913 Webster] A child, by a constant course of kindness, may be accustomed to bear very rough usage without flinching or complaining. --Locke. [1913 Webster] 2. (Croquet) To let the foot slip from a ball, when attempting to give a tight croquet. [1913 Webster]