I. verb (shrank or shrunk; shrunk or shrunken; shrinking) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scrincan; akin to Middle Dutch schrinken to draw back Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. to contract or curl up the body or part of it ; huddle, cower 2. a. 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 3. a. 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 Synonyms: see contract, recoilshrinkable adjectiveshrinker noun II. noun Date: 1590 1. the act of shrinking 2. shrinkage 3. [short for headshrinker] a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • shrink — [ʆrɪŋk] verb shrank PASTTENSE [ʆræŋk] shrunk PASTPART [ʆrʌŋk] 1. [intransitive] to become smaller in amount, size, or value: • The economy is expected to shrink slightly. • In the past decade, the number of employees h …   Financial and business terms

  • Shrink — Shrink, v. i. [imp. {Shrank}or {Shrunk}p. p. {Shrunk} or {Shrunken}, but the latter is now seldom used except as a participial adjective; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shrinking}.] [OE. shrinken, schrinken, AS. scrincan; akin to OD. schrincken, and probably… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shrink — can refer to:* Shrink , a slang term for a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist (derived from the word headshrinker ) *Shrinkage (accounting), a retail term for the money lost by undercharged, damaged, or stolen goods …   Wikipedia

  • Shrink — Shrink, v. t. 1. To cause to contract or shrink; as, to shrink finnel by imersing it in boiling water. [1913 Webster] 2. To draw back; to withdraw. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn. Milton. [1913 Webster] {To shrink on}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shrink — [shriŋk] vi. shrank or shrunk, shrunk or shrunken, shrinking [ME schrynken < OE scrincan, akin to Swed skrynka, to wrinkle < IE * (s)kreng < base * (s)ker , to bend, turn > SHRIMP, Gr kirkos, a ring, L curvus, curved] 1. to become or… …   English World dictionary

  • Shrink — Shrink, n. 1. The act shrinking; shrinkage; contraction; also, recoil; withdrawal. [1913 Webster] Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink, That I had less to praise. Leigh Hunt. [1913 Webster] 2. [Contraction of head shrinker, a colloquial term for… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shrink — O.E. scrincan (class III strong verb; past tense scranc, pp. scruncen), from P.Gmc. *skrenkanan (Cf. M.Du. schrinken), probably from PIE root * (s)ker to turn, bend. Originally with causal shrench (Cf. drink/drench). The meaning draw back, recoil …   Etymology dictionary

  • shrink — [v1] become smaller compress, concentrate, condense, constrict, contract, decrease, deflate, diminish, drop off, dwindle, fail, fall off, fall short, grow smaller, lessen, narrow, reduce, shorten, shrivel, wane, waste, waste away, weaken, wither …   New thesaurus

  • shrink — ► VERB (past shrank; past part. shrunk or (especially as adj. ) shrunken) 1) become or make smaller in size or amount; contract. 2) (of clothes or material) become smaller as a result of being immersed in water. 3) move back or away in fear or… …   English terms dictionary

  • shrink — index abridge (shorten), commute, condense, constrict (compress), decrease, deduct (reduce) …   Law dictionary

  • shrink — shriŋk n a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist called also headshrinker …   Medical dictionary

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