- a 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 for shrink on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for shrank
Denison admits that he shrank from doing the project in the run-up to his birthday last year, when he had planned to start it.Forever a Golden Girl: The Art of Being Bea Arthur
July 14, 2014
Email eliminated the voice; text messages could be sent quicker but shrank the mail.I Don't Text on Shabbas
June 17, 2013
The number of 18- to 34-year-old Americans shrank by nine million during his watch.Bill Clinton’s Bravura Convention Speech Latest Step in His and Hillary’s Rise
September 6, 2012
To survive, they shrank, shedding workers and retiring around 500 planes to desert graveyards.United-Continental Web Meltdown: Why Can’t Airlines Get It Right?
Barbara S. Peterson
March 9, 2012
Then, because it was useless, redundant, only destructive, or so it seemed, she shrank back again, defeated.Only Six Books: Excerpt From Jeanette Winterson’s New Memoir
March 7, 2012
Robert shrank from informing him, but he knew it to be his duty, and he was too brave to put it off.Brave and Bold
"You cannot," said Philip, putting her gently aside, while she shrank from his touch.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
But Katherine put her hands before her face and shrank back.Viviette
William J. Locke
It would be misrepresenting Andrew to say that he shrank from the future.Way of the Lawless
Of a sudden, she shrank again, and turned her head away, and her body trembled.Within the Law
- a 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 shrank
past tense of 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.