verb \ˈshriŋk, especially Southern ˈsriŋk\

: 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

shrank \ˈshraŋk, ˈsraŋk\ or shrunk \ˈshrəŋk, ˈsrəŋk\ shrunk or shrunk·en \ˈshrəŋ-kən, ˈsrəŋ-\ shrink·ing

Full Definition of SHRINK

intransitive verb
:  to contract or curl up the body or part of it :  huddle, cower
a :  to contract to less extent or compass
b :  to become smaller or more compacted
c :  to lose substance or weight
d :  to lessen in value :  dwindle
a :  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>
transitive verb
:  to cause to contract or shrink; specifically :  to compact (cloth) by causing to contract when subjected to washing, boiling, steaming, or other processes
shrink·able \ˈshriŋ-kə-bəl, ˈsriŋ-\ adjective
shrink·er noun

Examples of SHRINK

  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



: a psychiatrist or psychologist

Full Definition of SHRINK

:  the act of shrinking
:  shrinkage
[short for headshrinker] :  a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist

Examples of SHRINK

  1. He is seeing a shrink.

First Known Use of SHRINK



noun \ˈshriŋk\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SHRINK

:  a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist—called also headshrinker


Next Word in the Dictionary: shrinkagePrevious Word in the Dictionary: ShrinerAll Words Near: shrink
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