What does shrink mean?

Definitions for shrink

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shrink.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. psychiatrist, head-shrinker, shrinkverb

    a physician who specializes in psychiatry

  2. shrivel, shrivel up, shrink, witherverb

    wither, as with a loss of moisture

    "The fruit dried and shriveled"

  3. flinch, squinch, funk, cringe, shrink, wince, recoil, quailverb

    draw back, as with fear or pain

    "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf"

  4. shrink, reduceverb

    reduce in size; reduce physically

    "Hot water will shrink the sweater"; "Can you shrink this image?"

  5. shrink, contractverb

    become smaller or draw together

    "The fabric shrank"; "The balloon shrank"

  6. shrink, shrivelverb

    decrease in size, range, or extent

    "His earnings shrank"; "My courage shrivelled when I saw the task before me"


  1. shrinknoun

    shrinkage; contraction; recoil

    Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink, / That I had less to praise. uE0005131uE001 Leigh Hunt.

  2. shrinknoun

    A psychiatrist or therapist; a head-shrinker.

  3. shrinkverb

    To contract, to (cause to) become smaller.

  4. shrinkverb

    To cower or flinch.

    Molly shrank away from the blows of the whip.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Shrinknoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    There is, in this, a crack, which seems a shrink, or contraction in the body since it was first formed. John Woodward.

    This publick death, receiv’d with such a chear,
    As not a sigh, a look, a shrink bewrays
    The least felt touch of a degenerous fear. Samuel Daniel, Civ. War.

  2. To Shrinkverb

    participle pass. shrunk, shrank, or shrunken. To make to shrink. Not in use.

    O mighty Cæsar! d’ost thou lye so low?
    Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
    Shrunk to this little measure? William Shakespeare.

    The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon.
    His youthful hose well sav’d, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank. William Shakespeare.

    If he lessens the revenue, he will also shrink the necessity. Taylor.

    Keep it from coming too long, lest it should shrink the corn in measure. John Mortimer.

  3. To Shrinkverb

    preterite, I shrunk, or shrank; participle, shrunken.

    Etymology: scrincan , Saxon.

    But to be still hot summer’s tantlings, and
    The shrinking slaves of winter. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
    Upon a parchment, and against this fire
    Do I shrink up. William Shakespeare, K. John.

    I have not found that water, by mixture of ashes, will shrink or draw into less room. Francis Bacon, Nat. History.

    Ill-weav’d ambition how much art thou shrunk!
    When that this body did contain a spirit,
    A kingdom for it was too small a bound:
    But now two paces of the vilest earth
    Is room enough. William Shakespeare.

    The noise encreases,
    She comes, and feeble nature now I find
    Shrinks back in danger, and forsakes my mind. Dryden.

    Am I become so monstrous, so disfigur’d,
    That nature stands agast;
    And the fair light which gilds this new made orb,
    Shorn of his beams, shrinks in. Dryden.

    Love is a plant of the most tender kind,
    That shrinks and shakes with ev’ry ruffling wind. George Granville.

    All fibres have a contractile power, whereby they shorten; as appears if a fibre be cut transversly, the ends shrink, and make the wound gape. Arbuthnot.

    Philosophy that touch’d the heav’ns before,
    Shrinks to her hidden cause, and is no more. Alexander Pope.

    There is no particular object so good, but it may have the shew of some difficulty or unpleasant quality annexed to it, in respect whereof the will may shrink and decline it. Hooker.

    The morning cock crew loud,
    And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
    And vanish’d from our sight. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    I’ll embrace him with a soldier’s arm,
    That he shall shrink under my courtesy. William Shakespeare.

    When he walks, he moves like an engine,
    And the ground shrinks before his treading. William Shakespeare.

    Many shrink, which at the first would dare,
    And be the foremost men to execute. Samuel Daniel, Civil War.

    I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold
    And vent’rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear
    To endure exile, ignominy, bonds. John Milton.

    If a man accustoms himself to slight those first motions to good, or shrinkings of his conscience from evil, conscience will by degrees grow dull and unconcerned. Robert South, Sermons.

    The sky shrunk upward with unusual dread,
    And trembling Tyber div’d beneath his bed. Dryden.

    The gold-fraught vessel which mad tempests beat,
    He sees now vainly make to his retreat;
    And, when from far the tenth wave does appear,
    Shrinks up in silent joy, that he’s not there. Dryden.

    The fires but faintly lick’d their prey,
    Then loath’d their impious food, and would have shrunk away. Dryden.

    Fall on: behold a noble beast at bay,
    And the vile huntsmen shrink. Dryden.

    Inuring children to suffer some pain, without shrinking, is a way to gain firmness and courage. John Locke.

    What happier natures shrink at with affright,
    The hard inhabitant contends is right. Alexander Pope.


  1. shrink

    To shrink means to become or make smaller in size, quantity, degree, or importance. It can apply to physical objects reducing in size, as well as abstract concepts such as reducing influence or power. The term can also refer to the act of recoiling or withdrawing from something, often due to fear or discomfort.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shrinkverb

    to wrinkle, bend, or curl; to shrivel; hence, to contract into a less extent or compass; to gather together; to become compacted

  2. Shrinkverb

    to withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear; to recoil, as in fear, horror, or distress

  3. Shrinkverb

    to express fear, horror, or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake

  4. Shrinkverb

    to cause to contract or shrink; as, to shrink finnel by imersing it in boiling water

  5. Shrinkverb

    to draw back; to withdraw

  6. Shrinknoun

    the act shrinking; shrinkage; contraction; also, recoil; withdrawal

  7. Etymology: [OE. shrinken, schrinken, AS. scrincan; akin to OD. schrincken, and probably to Sw. skrynka a wrinkle, skrynkla to wrinkle, to rumple, and E. shrimp, n. & v., scrimp. CF. Shrimp.]


  1. Shrink

    Shrink is the fourth album by German indie rock/electronica group The Notwist. The album is notable for its movement away from the group's punk origins and including elements of electronica, ambient, and jazz.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shrink

    shringk, v.i. to contract: to wither: to occupy less space: to become wrinkled by contraction: to recoil, as from fear, disgust, &c.—v.t. to cause to shrink or contract: to withdraw:—pa.t. shrank, shrunk; pa.p. shrunk.—n. act of shrinking: contraction: withdrawal or recoil.—adj. Shrink′able.—ns. Shrink′age, a contraction into a less compass: the extent of the reduction of anything in bulk by shrinking, evaporation, &c.; Shrink′er.—adv. Shrink′ingly, in a shrinking manner: by shrinking. [A.S. scrincan; akin to Ger. schränken, to place obliquely.]

Matched Categories

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How to say shrink in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shrink in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shrink in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of shrink in a Sentence

  1. Ruben Gallego:

    We won’t shrink from protecting our democracy and the voting rights of all Americans. It’s past time for the U.S. Senate, and Sen. Sinema, to do the same.

  2. Mark Esper:

    I hope he does. I think the National Security Council staff needs to shrink and focus on coordinating between the departments.

  3. Samuel Goldlust:

    His first scan was stable which was a good outcome, and then by the time he had a second and third scan, his tumors had started to shrink considerably, he’s now been under our care for several years, if you're one that looks statistics, we unfortunately don't expect someone with a recurrent tumor to be with us more than a time measured in months -- and often not very many months -- so he's had a tremendous response.

  4. Plato:

    Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.

  5. Daphna Gelblum:

    Dose escalation has become feasible as we have gained a greater confidence in tumor location permitting us to shrink the size of our treatment windows and greatly reducing the normal tissue toxicity.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shrink

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • krimpAfrikaans
  • أحجم, تقلصArabic
  • kiçilməkAzerbaijani
  • drücken, Seelenklempner, abnehmen, schrumpfenGerman
  • αποτραβιέμαι, τρελογιατρός, συρρικνώνω, μπάζω, ζαρώνω, λουφάρω, μαζεύομαιGreek
  • etigiEsperanto
  • mermar, correr, encogerse, rehuir, zafar, encoger, contraerse, achicarse, loquero, contraerSpanish
  • kutistaa, kutistua, kallonkutistaja, luistaaFinnish
  • se réduire, se resserrer, psy, rapetisser, rétrécir, diminuer, faire rétrécirFrench
  • összemegy, fejzsugorító, lélekdoki, összehúzódik, összezsugorodikHungarian
  • strizzacervelli, ritirarsi, restringersiItalian
  • 縮小する, 精神科医, 縮まる, 縮める, 縮む, 短縮する, 尻込みするJapanese
  • 움츠러지다, 움츠리다Korean
  • subtraxerim utiliumLatin
  • etiMāori
  • zielknijper, zielenknijper, krimpenDutch
  • krympeNorwegian
  • kurczyć sięPolish
  • encolher, contrairPortuguese
  • micșoraRomanian
  • сжаться, сократиться, уменьшить, сокращаться, уменьшать, уменьшиться, сжиматься, уменьшаться, сжать, сжиматьRussian
  • krympa, hjärnskrynklareSwedish
  • หดThai
  • kiçelmekTurkmen
  • küçülmekTurkish
  • keçeräyüTatar

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"shrink." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shrink>.

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