• WordNet 3.6
    • v shrink decrease in size, range, or extent "His earnings shrank","My courage shrivelled when I saw the task before me"
    • v shrink become smaller or draw together "The fabric shrank","The balloon shrank"
    • v shrink reduce in size; reduce physically "Hot water will shrink the sweater","Can you shrink this image?"
    • v shrink wither, as with a loss of moisture "The fruit dried and shriveled"
    • v shrink draw back, as with fear or pain "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf"
    • n shrink a physician who specializes in psychiatry
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The sun shrinks five feet every hour
    • Shrink a psychiatrist.
    • Shrink The act shrinking; shrinkage; contraction; also, recoil; withdrawal. "Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink ,
      That I had less to praise."
    • Shrink To cause to contract or shrink; as, to shrink finnel by imersing it in boiling water.
    • Shrink To draw back; to withdraw. "The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn."
    • Shrink To express fear, horror, or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake.
    • Shrink To withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear; to recoil, as in fear, horror, or distress. "What happier natures shrink at with affright,
      The hard inhabitant contends is right."
      "They assisted us against the Thebans when you shrank from the task."
    • Shrink To wrinkle, bend, or curl; to shrivel; hence, to contract into a less extent or compass; to gather together; to become compacted. "And on a broken reed he still did stay
      His feeble steps, which shrunk when hard thereon he lay."
      "I have not found that water, by mixture of ashes, will shrink or draw into less room.""Against this fire do I shrink up.""And shrink like parchment in consuming fire.""All the boards did shrink ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: From the age of thirty, humans gradually begin to shrink in size
    • shrink 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.
    • shrink To diminish; reduce.
    • shrink To shrivel: become wrinkled by contraction, as the skin.
    • shrink To draw back or retire, as from danger; recoil physically, as in fear, horror, or distrust; sometimes, simply, to go aside.
    • shrink To decline or hesitate to act, as from fear; recoil morally or mentally, as in fear, horror, distrust, distaste, and the like.
    • shrink To express fear, horror, or pain by shrugging or contracting the body; wince; flinch.
    • shrink Synonyms See shrivel.
    • shrink To flinch, blench.
    • shrink To cause to contract: as, to shrink flannel by immersing it in boiling water.
    • shrink To make smaller; make appear smaller.
    • shrink To withdraw: formerly with in.
    • shrink The act of shrinking; a spontaneous drawing into less compass.
    • shrink A contraction.
    • shrink A shrug.
    • shrink A diminution; a falling away; shrinkage.
    • shrink A withdrawing from fear or horror; recoil.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: 15% regularly go to a shrink.
    • v.i Shrink shringk to contract: to wither: to occupy less space: to become wrinkled by contraction: to recoil, as from fear, disgust, &c
    • v.t Shrink to cause to shrink or contract: to withdraw:—pa.t. shrank, shrunk; pa.p. shrunk
    • n Shrink act of shrinking: contraction: withdrawal or recoil
    • ***


  • Thomas Szasz
    “Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum.”
  • Anais Nin
    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.”
  • Niccolo Machiavelli
    “Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.”
  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus
    “When a woman has lost her chastity she will shrink from nothing.”
  • Eric Hoffer
    “There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    “Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.”


Shrinking violet - A shrinking violet is a shy person who doesn't express their views and opinions.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

On the other hand, we frequently meet people who make us shrivel and shrink into ourselves.
"Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden
He took it in the same shrinking way, evidently expecting a blow, and drank heavily once more.
"Mass' George" by George Manville Fenn
Never rub on soap, as this shrinks them in spots.
"A Treatise on Domestic Economy" by Catherine Esther Beecher
His conscience is bare, and shrinking like a fresh wound.
"Aurelian" by William Ware
Olive seemed to shrink painfully at this news.
"Olive A Novel" by Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
Not desiring notoriety, but shrinking from apparent concealment, Esther's distress was evident.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
Rawhide shrinks a whole lot when it gits to drying.
"Bloom of Cactus" by Robert Ames Bennet
The room was shrinking!
"Beyond the Vanishing Point" by Raymond King Cummings
But I cannot bear that my children should shrink from all I shall leave behind, my memory.
"Helen and Arthur" by Caroline Lee Hentz
The fallen man shrinks from further association with those who have witnessed his fall.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid

In poetry:

"But see!—from thee he shrinks, nor would
Be blasted by thy touch!—
Ah, though my EDWIN spilt thy blood,
Yet once he lov'd thee much.
"Edwin and Eltruda, a Legendary Tale" by Helen Maria Williams
Ah why go mourning all the day,
Or why should I from trials shrink?
Though much of sorrow's in my cup,
The cup that I am called to drink.
""My times are in thy hand,"" by Mary Ann H T Bigelow
Yet such as make poor mortals shrink
And fear, when they are told,
These things are signs that they must drink
With death; O then how cold.
"Of Death" by John Bunyan
Yea, song! shrink back to my spirit's lone deep,
Let others hear only thy moan --
But I -- I forever shall hear the grand sweep
Of thy mighty and tear-burdened tone.
"A Song" by Abram Joseph Ryan
What time I am where others be,
My heart seems very calm— Stone calm; but if all go from me,
There comes a vague alarm,
A shrinking in the memory
From some forgotten harm.
"Heart’s Chill Between" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Nay, do not shrink! I am not here for passion,
I crave no love, only a little rest,
Although I would my face lay, lover's fashion,
Against the tender coolness of your breast.
"The Garden" by Laurence Hope

In news:

With the shrinking number of Gotham music venues?who?re mostly worried about surviving?it?s getting harder to find interesting places.
The 'Shrinking City' That Isn't Actually Shrinking.
In a phenomenon known as "shrinking," post-industrial cities are facing steep population loss and vast expanses of abandoned property.
This week marks my 10th anniversary as your Kitchen Shrink.
Why Is the Labor Force Shrinking.
Wall Street's shrinking job pool.
Women are always looking for ways to layer , shrink, suck in, and smooth their bodies with some sort of shape-wear.
Life Span s Shrink for Least-Educated Whites in the U.S. Search All
Will vitamins extend your lifespan or just shrink your piggy bank.
Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies.
The Incredible, Shrinking Modern Military.
Cynics among us call it the incredible shrinking holiday.
The president plans to shrink the Pentagon.
Erhardt + Leimer has unveiled a new tool for measuring and monitoring shrink sleeves.
Shrinking Medicaid funds pummel states.

In science:

They pointed out that as the T 2 shrinks, a new dimension appears whose quantized momentum modes correspond to magnetic flux on the T 2 .
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
But in any case the radial wavenumber of the most unstable mode shrinks to zero (qx = 0).
The Effect of the Random Magnetic Field Component on the Parker Instability
Shrink now the I sets and replace them by a waiting time.
Random walks on randomly oriented lattices
As λ → ∞, the ball Bp shrinks to the point p and the coefficients gij tend to the constants gij (p).
Cheeger-Gromov Theory and Applications to General Relativity
The graph of ¯λ( · ) is obtained from that of λ( · ) by shrinking both the x–axis and the y–axis in √n times.
Kerov's central limit theorem for the Plancherel measure on Young diagrams