When you fear a ball flying past your head and coming at you and you duck back a bit out of fear, this is an example of a time when you flinch.
When you shy away from participating in an activity because you are nervous, this is an example of a time when you flinch.
Origin of flinch
- Obsolete French flenchir of Germanic origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Compare Gothic (filhan), Icelandic fela (“to hide”)