shrink

verb
\ˈshriŋk, especially Southern ˈsriŋk\
shrank\ˈshraŋk, ˈsraŋk \ or shrunk\ˈshrəŋk, ˈsrəŋk \; shrunk or shrunken\ˈshrəŋ-​kən, ˈsrəŋ-​ \; shrinking

Definition of shrink 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to contract or curl up the body or part of it : huddle, cower

2a : 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

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

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

noun

Definition of shrink (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of shrinking

2 : shrinkage

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

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Other Words from shrink

Verb

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

Choose the Right Synonym for shrink

Verb

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 (such 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

Examples of shrink in a Sentence

Verb

The sweater shrank when it was washed. Meat shrinks as it cooks. The town's population shrank during the war. Hot water shrank the sweater. The treatment should shrink the tumor. He shrank in horror when he saw the dead cat.

Noun

He is seeing a shrink.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But in 2018’s final Senate drama, Democrats do have a chance to pull off the upset and shrink next year’s Republican majority. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Live results for the Mississippi Senate election," 27 Nov. 2018 There’s lots of cover to hide behind, and, yes, a poisonous cloud steadily closes in, shrinking the battlefield. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Supercell’s new game mixes Fortnite and Clash Royale, and it’s out soon," 14 Nov. 2018 But since early 2016, parent company L Brands has reported quarter after quarter of declining sales and shrinking profits. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 People in Japan worry a lot about population shrinking. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 There are theories that they might be involved with the planet's current rate of shrinking and its past volcanic activity, but nobody knows for sure. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The BepiColombo Probe Is About to Being a 7-Year Mission to Mercury," 19 Oct. 2018 Between endless security lines, shrinking legroom, flight delays, and jet lag, that’s fair. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Tips on How to Survive a Plane Crash (Although They're Really Rare)," 13 Oct. 2018 Today’s communal spaces have ballooned in digital vastness yet shrunk in physical size. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 Those duties amount to a tax, which producers can pass along to consumers through higher prices or absorb at risk of shrinking profits. Bruce Schreiner, Fox News, "Kentucky bourbon inventory at highest level since 1972," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unfortunately for Ko, as the big satellite market shrinks, the pool of launchers is expanding. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Quietly, Japan has established itself as a power in the aerospace industry," 15 Nov. 2018 But as luxury goods prices continue to rise, and the number of one-percenters who move the needle shrinks, those breathing less rarefied air might be astonished to learn just how thrilling the rides have become for VVIPs. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "The Experience Wars: Inside the Furious Fight for the Affections (and Dollars) of the World's Biggest Spenders," 20 Sep. 2018 Not long after the match begins, a safe zone appears that steadily shrinks, forcing players into closer and closer confrontation, until only one is left standing. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review: War games, now with battle royale!," 19 Oct. 2018 The country has also seen its competitive edge in sectors such as automobiles, electronics and shipbuilding shrink as China steps up. Kwanwoo Jun, WSJ, "South Korea’s Moon Looks to Reclaim Support With Plan for Big Spending Increase," 28 Aug. 2018 With wages remaining stagnant (even as the unemployment rate shrinks), gains like these can make a big difference in the stability of women's lives, long term. refinery29.com, "The Supreme Court's Janus Ruling Is A Blow To Black Women," 27 June 2018 Some of the best material had Jessie in therapy — with a shrink played by Zwick. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "Ten actors who shone even before they were stars," 28 June 2018 That's because as Antarctica's mass shrinks, the ice sheet's gravitational pull on the ocean relaxes somewhat, and the seas travel back across the globe to pile up far away - with U.S. coasts being one prime destination. Chris Mooney, courant.com, "Antarctic ice loss has tripled in a decade. If that continues we are in serious trouble.," 13 June 2018 The size of an area indicated in the forecast track has shrunk by 35-percent since 2008 and since last year, experts witnessed the cone’s 5-day track shrink by 6-percent. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Hurricane Center offers new communication tools," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrink.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shrink

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shrink

Verb

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

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Statistics for shrink

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shrink

The first known use of shrink was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for shrink

shrink

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shrink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

shrink

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shrink (Entry 2 of 2)

: a psychiatrist or psychologist

shrink

verb
\ˈshriŋk \
shrank\ˈshraŋk \ or shrunk\ˈshrəŋk \; shrunk or shrunken\ˈshrəŋ-​kən \; shrinking

Kids Definition of shrink

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

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

shrink

noun
\ˈshriŋk \

Medical Definition of shrink 

: a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist

called also headshrinker

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More from Merriam-Webster on shrink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shrink

Spanish Central: Translation of shrink

Nglish: Translation of shrink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrink for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shrink

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