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shrink

verb \ ˈshriŋk , especially Southern ˈsriŋk \
Updated on: 6 Nov 2017

Definition of shrink

shrank play \ˈshraŋk, ˈsraŋk\ or shrunk play \ˈshrəŋk, ˈsrəŋk\; shrunk or shrunken play \ˈshrəŋ-kən, ˈsrəŋ-\; shrinking
intransitive verb
1 :to contract or curl up the body or part of it :huddle, cower
2 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
3 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

shrinkable

play \ˈshriŋ-kə-bəl, ˈsriŋ-\ adjective

shrinker

noun

Examples of shrink in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of shrink from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of shrink

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

Synonym Discussion of shrink

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

2

shrink

noun

Definition of shrink

1 :the act of shrinking
3
[short for headshrinker]
:a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist

Examples of shrink in a Sentence

  1. He is seeing a shrink.

Recent Examples of shrink from the Web

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.

First Known Use of shrink

1590



SHRINK Defined for English Language Learners

shrink

verb

Definition of shrink for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of shrink for English Language Learners

  • : a psychiatrist or psychologist


SHRINK Defined for Kids

shrink

verb \ ˈshriŋk \

Definition of shrink for Students

shrank \ˈshraŋk\ or shrunk \ˈshrəŋk\; shrunk or shrunken \ˈshrəŋ-kən\; shrinking
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.

Medical Dictionary

shrink

noun \ ˈshriŋk \

medical Definition of shrink

:a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist called also headshrinker


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