from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To become constricted from heat, moisture, or cold.
- intransitive v. To become reduced in amount or value; dwindle: His savings quickly shrank.
- intransitive v. To draw back instinctively, as from something alarming; recoil.
- intransitive v. To show reluctance; hesitate: shrink from making such a sacrifice.
- transitive v. To cause to shrink.
- n. The act of shrinking.
- n. The degree to which something shrinks; shrinkage.
- n. Slang A psychotherapist.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To contract, to (cause to) become smaller.
- v. To cower or flinch.
- v. To attempt to avoid an unwanted or intimidating duty; as, to shrink from a task.
- n. shrinkage; contraction; recoil
- n. A psychiatrist or therapist; a head-shrinker.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To wrinkle, bend, or curl; to shrivel; hence, to contract into a less extent or compass; to gather together; to become compacted.
- intransitive v. To withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear; to recoil, as in fear, horror, or distress.
- intransitive v. To express fear, horror, or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake.
- transitive v. To cause to contract or shrink.
- transitive v. To draw back; to withdraw.
- n. The act shrinking; shrinkage; contraction; also, recoil; withdrawal.
- n. a psychiatrist.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- 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)