American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To become constricted from heat, moisture, or cold.
- v. To become reduced in amount or value; dwindle: His savings quickly shrank.
- v. To draw back instinctively, as from something alarming; recoil.
- v. To show reluctance; hesitate: shrink from making such a sacrifice.
- v. To cause to shrink.
- n. The act of shrinking.
- n. The degree to which something shrinks; shrinkage.
- n. Slang A psychotherapist.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To contract spontaneously; draw or be drawn into less length, breadth, or compass by an inherent property: as, woolen cloth shrinks in hot water; a flaxen or hempen line shrinks in a humid atmosphere.
- To diminish; reduce.
- To shrivel: become wrinkled by contraction, as the skin.
- To draw back or retire, as from danger; recoil physically, as in fear, horror, or distrust; sometimes, simply, to go aside.
- To decline or hesitate to act, as from fear; recoil morally or mentally, as in fear, horror, distrust, distaste, and the like.
- To express fear, horror, or pain by shrugging or contracting the body; wince; flinch.
- Synonyms See shrivel.
- 4–6. To flinch, blench.
- To cause to contract: as, to shrink flannel by immersing it in boiling water.
- To make smaller; make appear smaller.
- To withdraw: formerly with in.
- The act of shrinking; a spontaneous drawing into less compass.
- A contraction.
- A shrug.
- A diminution; a falling away; shrinkage.
- A withdrawing from fear or horror; recoil.
- v. ergative To contract, to (cause to) become smaller.
- v. intransitive To cower or flinch.
- v. intransitive, figuratively To attempt to avoid an unwanted or intimidating duty; as, to shrink from a task.
- n. shrinkage; contraction; recoil
- n. slang, sometimes pejorative A psychiatrist or therapist; a head-shrinker.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To wrinkle, bend, or curl; to shrivel; hence, to contract into a less extent or compass; to gather together; to become compacted.
- v. To withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear; to recoil, as in fear, horror, or distress.
- v. rare To express fear, horror, or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake.
- v. To cause to contract or shrink.
- v. obsolete To draw back; to withdraw.
- n. The act shrinking; shrinkage; contraction; also, recoil; withdrawal.
- n. Coll. a psychiatrist.
- v. draw back, as with fear or pain
- v. become smaller or draw together
- v. reduce in size; reduce physically
- v. decrease in size, range, or extent
- n. a physician who specializes in psychiatry
- v. wither, as with a loss of moisture
- Middle English shrinken, to wither, shrivel up, from Old English scrincan; see sker-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“My buddy the shrink is here,. liite Sunday Aftyernon football and steaks”
“Oh well, as they say in shrink school, schizo's believe in castles in the sky, psycho's live in them.”
“Once Washington volunteered to lend both his services and his prestige to leading the Continental Militia (and later national Army), he did not shrink from the hardship, nor the task ahead.”
“But thats what I tell my scotch drinkin "shrink friend" when the pontificatiion gets more thnan my humble Norwegian countenance can stand.”
“But we don't shrink from a fight here at MTV News so we're endeavoring to settle the argument once and for all.”
“We naturally shrink from the thought of death, and of its attendant circumstances; but all that is hateful and fearful about it will be fulfilled in our case, one by one.”
“Small firms typically buy basic clerical and accounting software in shrink-wrap boxes and run them on a company computer.”
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“Wood said the retail industry's national average for shrink is 1.7 percent of sales.”
“I was anxious and watchful, while my right hand grasped a pistol which was hidden in my bosom; every sound terrified me; but I resolved that I would sell my life dearly, and not shrink from the conflict until my own life, or that of my adversary, was extinguished.”
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