verb (used without object), shrank or, often, shrunk; shrunk or shrunk·en; shrink·ing.
verb (used with object), shrank or, often, shrunk; shrunk or shrunk·en; shrink·ing.
Origin of shrink
British Dictionary definitions for head shrinker
verb shrinks, shrinking, shrank, shrunk, shrunk or shrunken
- to recoil or withdrawto shrink from the sight of blood
- to feel great reluctance (at)to shrink from killing an animal
Word Origin for shrink
Word Origin and History for head shrinker (1 of 2)
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.