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

Turkey, which was one of the Group of 20’s fastest-growing economies until the middle of last year, is beset by shrinking industrial output, rising unemployment and double-digit inflation. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "A Craze for Atatürk Gives New Cachet to Turkey’s Founding Father," 22 Feb. 2019 Where 2018 was about shrinking or finessing the notch, this coming year will show us what the successor to the notch will look like. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "2018 was a weird notch year — what’s next?," 18 Dec. 2018 That’s the message from the Federal Aviation Administration, which said as emphatically as skillfully fashioned legal jargon can describe Tuesday, that squeezing the nation’s expanding bottoms into shrinking airline seats is not its problem. Ashley Halsey Iii, Washington Post, "FAA tells airline passengers ‘We’re a safety agency, not a creature comfort agency’," 3 July 2018 Mashing avocado into the turkey mixture helps prevent the meat from shrinking and drying out during cooking, which is why these stay awesomely juicy, even when they’re cooked all the way through. The Healthyish Team, Bon Appetit, "Healthy 4th of July Recipes to Eat Outdoors (With Lots of SPF On)," 13 June 2018 International migration into New York City’s five boroughs tapered off, as more residents left, shrinking the city’s population in 2017 and 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers released Thursday. New York’s population... Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "New York City’s Population Dips for First Time in Over a Decade," 18 Apr. 2019 So to get actual wind turbines to blossom in the Southeast, the generators themselves have to see their prices shrink further and get better at harnessing more marginal sources of wind. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 maps that show who’s being left behind in America’s wind-power boom," 28 Mar. 2019 Lenovo Lenovo’s T490 still appears to have a fairly sizeable chin below the display, but the side bezels have shrunk to provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Lenovo's ThinkPad T490 emphasizes display improvements in 2019 refresh," 24 Feb. 2019 The extended sizes are currently available for the: FYI: When our pros in the Good Housekeeping Institute tested the Classic T-shirt style, the material stood up well and didn’t shrink. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "ThirdLove Just Introduced More Bra Sizes to Its Collection," 20 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

11 May 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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