shrink·​age | \ ˈshriŋ-kij How to pronounce shrinkage (audio) , especially Southern ˈsriŋ- \

Definition of shrinkage

1 : the act or process of shrinking
2a : the loss in weight of livestock during shipment and in the process of preparing the meat for consumption
b : the loss of goods especially by theft inventory shrinkage
3 : the amount lost by shrinkage

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Examples of shrinkage in a Sentence

The shrinkage in contributions is significant. a shrinkage of 10 percent the shrinkage of the polar ice caps
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Recent Examples on the Web As the pandemic continues to impact hospitals and healthcare systems across the United States, rural organizations are experiencing considerable strain due to industry-wide revenue shrinkage. Kevin Macdonald, Forbes, "A Path Forward For Rural Hospitals And Healthcare Systems," 10 May 2021 Active lobsters can inadvertently injure or kill one another, resulting in shrinkage; maintaining a water temperature between the high 30s to low 40s helps guard against that. Adam Erace, Fortune, "How Luke’s Lobster gets seafood from the docks to your doorstep," 10 Apr. 2021 The right combination of products will surely keep your curls defined, hydrated, and soft, without the shrinkage. Essence, "Style and Hydrate Your Natural Tresses with Creme of Nature’s Pure Honey Styling Products," 13 Apr. 2021 Barring an unforeseen demographic detour, global shrinkage looms. The Economist, "Free Exchange The economics of falling populations," 27 Mar. 2021 The findings suggest that long-term weightlessness alters the structure of the heart, causing shrinkage and atrophy, and low-intensity exercise is not enough to keep that from happening. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This is how the human heart adapts to space," 29 Mar. 2021 In addition to an improved customer experience, checkout-free shopping will enable retailers to reduce labor costs and combat shrinkage. Rob Toews, Forbes, "A Wave Of Billion-Dollar Computer Vision Startups Is Coming," 1 Mar. 2021 In this case, researchers saw that the heart adapted, but the shrinkage did not cause any ill effects, present or long-term. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This is how the human heart adapts to space," 29 Mar. 2021 Much of that shrinkage occurred between 2011 and 2018 when then-Gov. Keith M. Phaneuf,, "Unions push back against Lamont’s efforts to shrink state workforce," 27 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrinkage.' 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 shrinkage

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for shrinkage

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrinkage was in 1800

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Statistics for shrinkage

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrinkage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for shrinkage



English Language Learners Definition of shrinkage

: the amount by which something becomes smaller or less
: the act or process of becoming smaller in amount, size, or value


shrink·​age | \ ˈshriŋ-kij How to pronounce shrinkage (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrinkage

: the amount by which something shrinks or becomes less

Comments on shrinkage

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