the act or fact of shrinking.
the amount or degree of shrinking.
reduction or depreciation in quantity, value, etc.
contraction of a fabric in finishing or washing.
the difference between the original weight of livestock and that after it has been prepared for marketing.
Commerce. loss of merchandise through breakage, pilferage, shoplifting, etc.

Origin of shrinkage

First recorded in 1790–1800; shrink + -age Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shrinkage

Contemporary Examples of shrinkage

  • True, much of that shrinkage can be traced to individuals bringing income forward to avoid higher tax rates in 2013.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Deficit's Taking Care of Itself

    David Frum

    January 14, 2013

Historical Examples of shrinkage

  • A very important factor in the value of a fabric is the shrinkage.


    William H. Dooley

  • The quotient multiplied by 100 will give the per cent of shrinkage.


    William H. Dooley

  • The creditor foresaw the shrinkage of his property, and feared it.

    The New Nation

    Frederic L. Paxson

  • The time will come when over at our office there will be a shrinkage.

    In Our Town

    William Allen White

  • Moreover, shrinkage is often unequal in different portions of the same piece.

    Seasoning of Wood

    Joseph B. Wagner

British Dictionary definitions for shrinkage



the act or fact of shrinking
the amount by which anything decreases in size, value, weight, etc
the loss in body weight during shipment and preparation of livestock for marketing as meat
the loss of merchandise in a retail store through theft or damage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for shrinkage

1713, "act or fact of shrinking," from shrink (v.) + -age. Meaning "amount by which something has shrunk" is from 1862.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper