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

And fellow pop icon Beyoncé has done her share to shrink spectacles; the paparazzi snapped her in pint-sized... Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "From John Lennon to Beyoncé—the Strange Story of Tiny Sunglasses," 5 Mar. 2019 Mini handbags have been reigning supreme for the past few seasons, but the trend continues to shrink smaller and smaller. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Handbags Are Getting So Small They Can Barely Fit AirPods," 26 Feb. 2019 Dortmund squandered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, allowing its league lead to shrink to five points. Ciaran Fahey, The Seattle Times, "Real Madrid enjoying winning run as Champions League returns," 10 Feb. 2019 Corpus luteum cysts happen when that empty follicular sac fails to shrink, instead resealing itself and allowing fluid to collect inside. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Kate Beckinsale Reveals She Went to the Hospital for a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst," 28 Jan. 2019 For-sale inventory continues to shrink in most markets. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Elizabeth Warren doubles down on affordable housing legislation," 11 Dec. 2018 In several of the portraits, as well as in a screenshot taken by C-SPAN and screenshotted by reporter Lauren Tara LaCapra on Twitter, RBG appears to shrink away from the newest justice, who beams from the top-right of the picture. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "This New SCOTUS Photo With Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Brett Kavanaugh Is Going Viral," 30 Nov. 2018 For bad swollen tonsils, physicians will use an oral steroid to shrink swelling in the throat, says Dr. Soren. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Here Are All The Signs That You Might Have Mono AKA “The Kissing Disease”," 29 Nov. 2018 The ability to rapidly shrink down to bug size (and beyond) gives Ant-Man and the Wasp tremendous advantages. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Insect-inspired microfluidics could help Ant-Man and the Wasp breathe," 18 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

16 Mar 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

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