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shrink

[shringk] /ʃrɪŋk/
verb (used without object), shrank or, often shrunk; shrunk or shrunken; shrinking.
1.
to draw back, as in retreat or avoidance:
to shrink from danger; to shrink from contact.
2.
to contract or lessen in size, as from exposure to conditions of temperature or moisture:
This cloth will not shrink if washed in lukewarm water.
3.
to become reduced in extent or compass.
verb (used with object), shrank or, often shrunk; shrunk or shrunken; shrinking.
4.
to cause to shrink or contract; reduce.
5.
Textiles. to cause (a fabric) to contract during finishing, thus preventing shrinkage, during laundering, of the garments made from it.
noun
6.
an act or instance of shrinking.
7.
a shrinking movement.
8.
9.
Also, shrinker. Also called head shrinker. Slang. a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychoanalyst.
Origin of shrink
900
before 900; 1955-60 for def 9; Middle English schrinken, Old English scrincan; cognate with Middle Dutch schrinken, Swedish skrynka to shrink, Norwegian skrukka old shrunken woman
Related forms
shrinkable, adjective
shrinkingly, adverb
nonshrinkable, adjective
nonshrinking, adjective
nonshrinkingly, adverb
overshrink, verb, overshrank or, often overshrunk; overshrunk or overshrunken; overshrinking.
unshrinkable, adjective
unshrinking, adjective
unshrinkingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. withdraw, recoil, quail. See wince1 . 3. See decrease.
Antonyms
3. increase.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shrink
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Like her husband, she was of a spirit that did not shrink from duty when she knew it.

    Wilford Woodruff Matthias F. Cowley
  • And yet, though I shrink from the idea of fighting, I might in some way help those who are.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • I had learned to bear this, and more; to save myself pain I had come to shrink from exposing my real self to her.

    In the Arena Booth Tarkington
  • She was not conscious—how could she be and not shrink from my caress?

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • Happy to serve in the cause, he should shrink from no labor and no exposure.

British Dictionary definitions for shrink

shrink

/ʃrɪŋk/
verb shrinks, shrinking, shrank, shrunk, shrunk, shrunken
1.
to contract or cause to contract as from wetness, heat, cold, etc
2.
to become or cause to become smaller in size
3.
(intransitive) often foll by from
  1. to recoil or withdraw: to shrink from the sight of blood
  2. to feel great reluctance (at): to shrink from killing an animal
noun
4.
the act or an instance of shrinking
5.
(slang) a psychiatrist
Derived Forms
shrinkable, adjective
shrinker, noun
shrinking, adjective
shrinkingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English scrincan; related to Old Norse skrokkr torso, Old Swedish skrunkin wrinkled, Old Norse hrukka a crease, Icelandic skrukka wrinkled woman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shrink
v.

Old English scrincan "to draw in the limbs, contract, shrivel up; wither, pine away" (class III strong verb; past tense scranc, past participle scruncen), from Proto-Germanic *skrink- (cf. Middle Dutch schrinken), probably from PIE root *(s)ker- (3) "to turn, bend."

Originally with causal shrench (cf. drink/drench). Sense of "become reduced in size" recorded from late 13c. The meaning "draw back, recoil" (early 14c.) perhaps was suggested by the behavior of snails. Transitive sense, "cause to shrink" is from late 14c. Shrink-wrap is attested from 1961 (shrinking-wrap from 1959). Shrinking violet "shy person" attested from 1882.

n.

"an act of shrinking," 1580s, from shrink (v.). Slang meaning "psychiatrist," (1966) is from head-shrinker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shrink

shriek

noun

  1. An exclamation point; bang, shout (1864+ Print shop)
  2. istilled and concentrated heroin; black tar (mid-1980s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
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