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verb, \ˈshriŋk, especially Southern ˈsriŋk\

Simple Definition of shrink

  • : to become smaller in amount, size, or value

  • : to make (something) smaller in amount, size, or value

  • : to quickly move away from something shocking, frightening, or disgusting

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of shrink

shrank play \ˈshraŋk, ˈsraŋk\ or shrunk play \ˈshrəŋk, ˈsrəŋk\ shrunk or shrunken play \ˈshrəŋ-kən, ˈsrəŋ-\ shrinking

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to contract or curl up the body or part of it :  huddle, cower

  3. 2a :  to contract to less extent or compassb :  to become smaller or more compactedc :  to lose substance or weightd :  to lessen in value :  dwindle

  4. 3a :  to recoil instinctively (as from something painful or horrible) <shrank from the challenge>b :  to hold oneself back :  refrain <did not shrink from telling the truth>

  5. transitive verb
  6. :  to cause to contract or shrink; specifically :  to compact (cloth) by causing to contract when subjected to washing, boiling, steaming, or other processes

shrinkable play \ˈshriŋ-kə-bəl, ˈsriŋ-\ adjective
shrinker noun

Examples of shrink in a sentence

  1. The sweater shrank when it was washed.

  2. Meat shrinks as it cooks.

  3. The town's population shrank during the war.

  4. Hot water shrank the sweater.

  5. The treatment should shrink the tumor.

  6. He shrank in horror when he saw the dead cat.

Origin of shrink

Middle English, from Old English scrincan; akin to Middle Dutch schrinken to draw back

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of shrink

contract, shrink, condense, compress, constrict, deflate mean to decrease in bulk or volume. contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length <caused her muscles to contract>. shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions <the sweater will shrink when washed>. condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content <condense the essay into a paragraph>. compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance <compressed cotton into bales>. constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter <the throat is constricted by a tight collar>. deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas <deflate the balloon>.

recoil, shrink, flinch, wince, blench, quail mean to draw back in fear or distaste. recoil implies a start or movement away through shock, fear, or disgust <recoiled at the suggestion of stealing>. shrink suggests an instinctive recoil through sensitiveness, scrupulousness, or cowardice <shrank from the unpleasant truth>. flinch implies a failure to endure pain or face something dangerous or frightening with resolution <faced her accusers without flinching>. wince suggests a slight involuntary physical reaction (as a start or recoiling) <winced in pain>. blench implies fainthearted flinching <stood their ground without blenching>. quail suggests shrinking and cowering in fear <quailed before the apparition>.




Simple Definition of shrink

  • : a psychiatrist or psychologist

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of shrink

  1. 1 :  the act of shrinking

  2. 2 :  shrinkage

  3. 3 [short for headshrinker] :  a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist

Examples of shrink in a sentence

  1. He is seeing a shrink.


First Known Use of shrink


SHRINK Defined for Kids


verb \ˈshriŋk\

Definition of shrink for Students

shrank \ˈshraŋk\ or shrunk \ˈshrəŋk\shrunk or shrunken \ˈshrəŋ-kən\shrinking

  1. 1 :  to make or become smaller <The sweater shrank when it got wet.>

  2. 2 :  to curl up or move back in or as if in fear or pain <Just the thought of all this made Tom shrink back uncomfortably in his chair. — Andrew Clements, Frindle>

  3. 3 :  to refrain from doing something especially because of difficulty or unpleasantness <He did not shrink from telling the truth.>

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈshriŋk\

Medical Definition of shrink

  1. :  a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist—called also headshrinker

Seen and Heard

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to dishevel or rumple

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