wince at (something)

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wince at (something)

To grimace, flinch, or tense up as a response (often involuntary) to some source of pain or discomfort or something disagreeable. My daughter winced at the injection, but she didn't cry. I sat through the entire dinner wincing at my dad's terrible jokes.
See also: wince
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

wince at something

to shrink back because of something, such as pain. She winced at the pain but did not cry out. After he had just winced at the pain for a while, he finally screamed.
See also: wince
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

wince at

v.
To shrink or tense up involuntarily in response to something that causes pain, distress, or discomfort: I winced at this month's phone bill.
See also: wince
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
I winced at my mistake, which I attenuated as I could, and opened my letter again to repeat it to her; then, faltering in the act and folding it up once more, I put it back in my pocket.
Kellie Maloney standing nearby, winced at some of Jordan's jibes, clearly believing they were below the belt, though not as much as she'll wince at what happens below-the-belt in the next few weeks.
Was it only me who winced at the gravity of the refereeing blunder, than allowed himself just a little chuckle that it was Neil "Why is it always me?" Warnock who was the victim?
Mr Cameron said he winced at the suggestion and that there were fundamental differences in their approach to politics.
6 BERNHARD WILLHELM In the past we have winced at grown men in romper suits.
Though most Democrats winced at McAuliffe's pronouncement to Larry King that election night had been "a good night" for the party, most believe he's staying put because Bill and Hillary Clinton still back him.