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

Many more citizens may shrink from the public square if an accusation of spreading disinformation or propaganda carries with it the risk of persecution by a federal agency. Hans A. Von Spakovsky, National Review, "FEC Chair Embarks Down the High-Tech Road to Censorship," 12 Sep. 2019 Our five handpicked stories in today’s edition cover shrinking support for Joe Biden in New Hampshire, breaking governing taboos in Israel, a new symbol of hope in Afghanistan, and myth busting in Uganda and New England. The Christian Science Monitor, "The law that helps and heals," 10 Sep. 2019 The tobacco industry, one of the main earners of foreign exchange, shrank quickly as farms were seized and production plummeted. Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times, "Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s longtime president, dies at 95," 5 Sep. 2019 Elsewhere, Joe Biden's memory proved to be particularly untrustworthy, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is shrinking, and the Republican race is … a thing that exists, kind of. Wired, "While You Were Offline: Could a Nuclear Bomb Stop a Hurricane?," 1 Sep. 2019 There's nothing about this process that's preventing the gate length from shrinking, which would bring about clock speed increases; that's something researchers could try immediately. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "16-bit RISC-V processor made with carbon nanotubes," 28 Aug. 2019 Glaciers here do shrink in the summer and grow in the winter, but nothing like this year. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Earth’s future is being written in fast-melting Greenland," 20 Aug. 2019 The investor has been arguing for a year that Barclays should reengineer its strategy and shrink the unit, which remains a drag on the company’s returns. Washington Post, "Barclays Management Shakeup Is a Win for Bramson," 18 Sep. 2019 The Solomon Islands government voted on Monday unanimously to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing over Taipei, whittling Taiwan's already shrinking number of allies down to 16. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Taiwan accuses China of trying to sway elections after losing yet another ally," 17 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As the forest shrinks, the region is growing progressively drier. Carol Pires, The New Yorker, "The Trump Ally Who Is Allowing the Amazon to Burn," 28 Aug. 2019 As broadcast’s presence on the Emmy stage shrinks, The Good Place scored a coup in landing the Big Four’s only best comedy nomination — and for its third season at that. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Good Place' Creator on Portraying Current Events Onscreen," 8 Aug. 2019 Following a sharp shrink in the first quarter of 2019, South Africa’s economy dodged a recession after growing by 3.1% in the second quarter. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "These charts show migrants aren’t South Africa’s biggest problem," 13 Sep. 2019 There is great joy in laughing 90 percent of the day as opposed to needing a shrink after work. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Walton Goggins on becoming Baby Billy for Danny McBride and Righteous Gemstones," 2 Sep. 2019 Elgie, meanwhile, hatches a more drastic plan for his wife, arranging a psychological intervention, with the aid of a sympathetic shrink (Judy Greer). Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” Is at Cate Blanchett’s Command," 16 Aug. 2019 The White House would blast a budgetary shrink-ray at the agency - a 12 percent reduction to $7.1 billion. oregonlive, "Trump budget slashes science; here’s what would be lost," 19 Mar. 2019 Ford is under pressure to cut costs as profit shrinks and its share price remains stuck near a decade low. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Ford Taps Omnicom’s BBDO as Its Lead Creative Ad Agency," 8 Oct. 2018 No amount of federal student loans, or tuition increases, will do colleges and universities any good when, over the next decade, the pool of age-eligible students shrinks by 13% (by Mr. Grawe’s estimate). Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "‘Restoring the Promise’ Review: High Cost, Low Yield," 24 June 2019

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

12 Oct 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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