early 15c. (transitive), probably from stem of Old English gewrinclod "wrinkled, crooked, winding," past participle of gewrinclian "to wind, crease," from perfective prefix ge- + -wrinclian "to wind," from Proto-Germanic *wrankjan, from a nasalized variant of *werg- "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." Intransitive sense from 1610s. Related: Wrinkled; wrinkling.
"fold or crease in the extenal body," late 14c.; in cloth or clothing from early 15c., probably from wrinkle (v.). Meaning "defect, problem" first recorded 1640s; that of "idea, device, notion" (especially a new one) is from 1817.