- a past participle and simple past tense of shrink.
- to draw back, as in retreat or avoidance: to shrink from danger; to shrink from contact.
- to contract or lessen in size, as from exposure to conditions of temperature or moisture: This cloth will not shrink if washed in lukewarm water.
- to become reduced in extent or compass.
- to cause to shrink or contract; reduce.
- Textiles. to cause (a fabric) to contract during finishing, thus preventing shrinkage, during laundering, of the garments made from it.
Origin of shrink
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for shrunk
No surprise then that aside from wealthy coastal suburbs, the Democratic base has shrunk to the urban cores and college towns.Time to Bring Back the Truman Democrats
December 21, 2014
I was shown how much the value of my life had shrunk on my very first day in the state system.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
This is all true even as the distance between standards of living in the United States and other developed countries has shrunk.This One Picture of Telly Savalas Refutes All Fears That Progress Has Ended
October 30, 2014
Cleveland may have shrunk, but it remains relevant both numerically and as a cautionary tale.Cleveland, LeBron James, and the 2016 Republican Convention
July 14, 2014
He was “overwhelmed by the feeling” that “the Suffolk expanses” had “shrunk once and for all to a single, blind, insensate spot.”Walking In The Footsteps Of W.G. Sebald, Hiker, Novelist, Strange Genius
June 5, 2014
Tories and Liberals knew he had not shrunk from meeting the public on this question.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
She shrank, as many a woman has shrunk before, from confronting him with his lie.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Miss Dorcas, too, had heard it, and shrunk from its undisguised profanity.Meadow Grass
They had shrunk past homeless people, lying coiled up in nooks.Little Dorrit
Of course the town had shrunk fearfully, since I was a child there.The Uncommercial Traveller
- a past participle and past tense of shrink
- to contract or cause to contract as from wetness, heat, cold, etc
- to become or cause to become smaller in size
- (intr often foll by from)
- to recoil or withdrawto shrink from the sight of blood
- to feel great reluctance (at)to shrink from killing an animal
- the act or an instance of shrinking
- slang a psychiatrist
Word Origin and History for shrunk
Old English scrincan "to draw in the limbs, contract, shrivel up; wither, pine away" (class III strong verb; past tense scranc, past participle scruncen), from Proto-Germanic *skrink- (cf. Middle Dutch schrinken), probably from PIE root *(s)ker- (3) "to turn, bend."
Originally with causal shrench (cf. drink/drench). Sense of "become reduced in size" recorded from late 13c. The meaning "draw back, recoil" (early 14c.) perhaps was suggested by the behavior of snails. Transitive sense, "cause to shrink" is from late 14c. Shrink-wrap is attested from 1961 (shrinking-wrap from 1959). Shrinking violet "shy person" attested from 1882.