- a past participle 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 shrunken
And I like the way you carried your mic pack like it was a shrunken head.A Reality TV Competition About Reading? Literary Death Match Wants a Show
December 13, 2012
I miss the strife His shrunken staff, his hungry wife Inflame chafe!
So says Thomas Hobbes, whose definition of all laughter illuminates those moments when we smugly parade past the shrunken giants.GOP Primaries Provide a Feast for Our Schadenfreude Appetite
Eric G. Wilson
January 19, 2012
With a taut, shrunken face, a penchant for cocaine injections, and a fondness for disguise and deception, Holmes is his own Hyde.How Sherlock Holmes Took on the Capitalists
December 21, 2011
One sweater, in particular, a short-sleeve, shrunken crewneck, was charmingly marked by teardrop-shaped dollops of teal blue.Milan’s Day-Glo Exuberance
September 26, 2011
Mike had shrunken into his allenveloping coat with pathetic moroseness.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
The girl slid her arm under his neck, and then his shrunken hand was at rest.The Scapegoat
His nose, which seemed to have grown longer, descended over his shrunken lips.Balthasar
The frame must once have been powerful, but now it was shrunken and emaciated.All Roads Lead to Calvary
Jerome K. Jerome
How shrunken with the sorrow of their wretched lives, and yet how sportive they seem!An Outcast
F. Colburn Adams
- a past participle of shrink
- (usually prenominal) reduced in sizea shrunken head
- 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 shrunken
Old English gescruncan, past participle adjective from shrink (v.).
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.