Synonyms & Antonyms of shrink

1 to become smaller in size or volume through the drawing together of particles of matter
  • the sweater will shrink a little when washed

Synonyms for shrink

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Antonyms for shrink

2 to draw back in fear, pain, or disgust
  • shrinking back from the approaching flames

Synonyms for shrink

Words Related to shrink

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3 to grow less in scope or intensity especially gradually
  • his crush on her is likely to shrink after they start their new lives on different college campuses

Synonyms for shrink

Words Related to shrink

Near Antonyms for shrink

Antonyms for shrink

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About shrink

How is the word shrink different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of shrink are compress, condense, constrict, contract, and deflate. While all these words mean "to decrease in bulk or volume," shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions.

the sweater will shrink when washed

When would compress be a good substitute for shrink?

The meanings of compress and shrink largely overlap; however, compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance.

compressed cotton into bales

When might condense be a better fit than shrink?

The synonyms condense and shrink are sometimes interchangeable, but condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content.

condense the essay into a paragraph

When could constrict be used to replace shrink?

Although the words constrict and shrink have much in common, constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter.

the throat is constricted by a tight collar

When can contract be used instead of shrink?

The words contract and shrink can be used in similar contexts, but contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length.

caused her muscles to contract

In what contexts can deflate take the place of shrink?

While the synonyms deflate and shrink are close in meaning, deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas.

deflate the balloon

Learn More About shrink

Time Traveler for shrink

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrink was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Shrink.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shrink

Nglish: Translation of shrink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrink for Arabic Speakers


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