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

Synonyms & Antonyms for shrink

Synonyms: Verb

compress, condense, constrict, contract

Antonyms: Verb

balloon, expand, snowball, swell

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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

The actress also shared some behind-the-scenes content on her Instagram, including a hot tip about putting on jewelry (shrink your knuckles by putting your hand in a bucket of ice, if necessary). Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Cast of The Good Place Has Arrived on the 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Researchers have found that climate change will shrink the number of days for downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling across 247 winter recreation areas. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018 Those areas have struggled with radium and shrinking groundwater supplies. Fox News, "Book: Wisconsin quietly OK'd Lake Michigan water diversion," 18 Sep. 2018 For example, Messenger found that Mercury's radius has shrunk by about 7km as the planet's interior cooled. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Two orbiters begin their long journey to Mercury Friday night," 19 Oct. 2018 Then came the drop: By 2013, that number had shrunk by 25 percent, thanks to an increase in land value, a change in fuel standards, and the growth of stores with gas stations, like Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart, and Kroger. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "What the Road Trip Looks Like in 2030," 20 July 2018 Members of the public could also legally park on the private streets to use the new park, which will shrink by 0.15 acres of parkland space under the plan. Priscella Vega, latimes.com, "Proposed subdivision on abandoned Franklin School site will go before Huntington Beach commissioners," 6 July 2018 Government auditors estimate that in 10 years, the SNAP caseload would shrink by about 1.2 million people in an average month if the bill becomes law. BostonGlobe.com, "In Wisconsin, Trump highlights economic policies," 28 June 2018 Analysts expect those exports to shrink by as much as 1.5 million barrels daily. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "One Casualty of Trump's Tough Iran Stance? Gas Prices," 28 June 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

19 Jan 2019

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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