shrink

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English shrinken, from Old English sċrincan, from Proto-Germanic *skrinkwaną. Cognate with Dutch schrinken (to shrink).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

shrink (third-person singular simple present shrinks, present participle shrinking, simple past shrank or shrunk, past participle shrunk or shrunken)

  1. (transitive) To cause to become smaller.
    The dryer shrank my sweater.
  2. (intransitive) To become smaller; to contract.
    This garment will shrink when wet.
  3. (intransitive) To cower or flinch.
    Molly shrank away from the blows of the whip.
  4. (transitive) To draw back; to withdraw.
  5. (intransitive, figuratively) To withdraw or retire, as from danger.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
      What happier natures shrink at with affright, / The hard inhabitant contends is right.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jowett (translator), Thucydides
      They assisted us against the Thebans when you shrank from the task.
  6. (intransitive) To move back or away, especially because of fear or disgust.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Noun[edit]

shrink (plural shrinks)

  1. Shrinkage; contraction; recoil.
    • Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink, / That I had less to praise. — Leigh Hunt.
  2. (slang, sometimes derogatory) A psychiatrist or therapist; a head-shrinker.
    You need to see a shrink.
    My shrink said that he was an enabler, bad for me.
    • 1994, Green Day, Basket Case
      I went to a shrink, to analyze my dreams. He said it's lack of sex that's bringing my down.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The slang sense was originally pejorative, expressing a distrust of practitioners in the field. It is now not as belittling or trivializing.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References[edit]

  • shrink at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • shrink in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911