shrink

verb
\ ˈshriŋk How to pronounce shrink (audio) , especially Southern ˈsriŋk\
shrank\ ˈshraŋk How to pronounce shrank (audio) , ˈsraŋk \ or shrunk\ ˈshrəŋk How to pronounce shrunk (audio) , ˈsrəŋk \; shrunk or shrunken\ ˈshrəŋ-​kən How to pronounce shrunken (audio) , 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 How to pronounce shrinkable (audio) , 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 president also wants to shrink the record $420 billion U.S. annual trade deficit with China by getting Beijing to accelerate its purchases of American farm, energy and industrial products. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "Trump top trade envoy sees progress in USMCA talks with Congress," 18 June 2019 The district made roughly $5 million in budget cuts to shrink the anticipated deficit for the upcoming year. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Ysidro School District anticipates deficit spending in upcoming year," 18 June 2019 After all, the purpose of the bill is to shrink income inequality by helping workers whom employers are most likely to exploit. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The high-stakes battle between Uber executives and drivers in California, explained," 18 June 2019 Even as the Republican Party’s margin in the Senate continued to shrink, Flake kept voting for stuff. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "House Leadership Is Looking Flakey," 17 June 2019 By removing several pollsters, the campaign hopes to shrink the circle of outside operatives who have access to information that could leak, according to the presidential adviser, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Trump Campaign to Purge Pollsters After Leak of Dismal Results," 16 June 2019 The sharp rise in labor costs in the last decade has pushed the company to install a fleet of robots in its factory, allowing it to shrink its assembly line from 63 people a few years ago to just 13 today. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The trade war is already pushing businesses out of China—and it could be permanent," 14 June 2019 The threat of a disorderly rupture with the EU hangs over Britain’s economy, which appears to have shrunk in March and April, in part because carmakers halted production after the original Brexit deadline. The Economist, "The Tories are throwing away their reputation for economic prudence," 14 June 2019 Some investors expect the spread to shrink later this year and in 2020 when new pipelines open between the prolific Permian Basin in West Texas with export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, "Tanker Attacks Lift Oil Prices, Improve Shale Producers’ Outlook," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Musk also tweeted Wednesday a reminder that the US federal tax credit for Teslas shrinks next month. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Tesla's black paint just got $1,000 more expensive," 19 June 2019 As Deloitte noted in a previous report, retail is polarizing toward the high and low ends just as the same happens in American incomes and the middle class shrinks. Marc Bain, Quartz, "US consumer spending hasn’t changed much in 30 years, with one exception," 30 May 2019 The new papers posted online this month showed that relative to the size of the deck, cap set size shrinks exponentially as n gets larger. Quanta Magazine, "Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians," 31 May 2016 Newsletter Sign-up After a plant closes, those employees are left playing musical chairs, hoping to land a spot at another nuclear plant even as that job pool shrinks. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "High-Paying Jobs in Nuclear Power Aren’t Looking So Safe Anymore," 28 Dec. 2018 Once the egg is released, the empty follicle shrinks to form what's called a corpus luteum, which is supposed to make hormones to get ready for the next egg. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Kate Beckinsale Reveals She Went to the Hospital for a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst," 28 Jan. 2019 This started the shrink, integrate, shrink, integrate, rinse, repeat motion that’s still going strong today. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "The Chip That Changed the World," 26 Aug. 2018 The maximum amount of daylight is of course the first day of summer, and after that, the daylight slowly shrinks, which nobody likes to think about because some of the kids won’t even be out of school yet. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Good news: 8 p.m. sunsets begin this week," 17 May 2018 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

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

22 Jun 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)

informal : a psychiatrist or psychologist

shrink

verb
\ ˈshriŋk How to pronounce shrink (audio) \
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 How to pronounce shrink (audio) \

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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