Shrink (?), v. i. [imp. Shrank (?) or Shrunk (?) p. p. Shrunk or Shrunken (), but the latter is now seldom used except as a participial adjective; p. pr. & vb. n. Shrinking.] [OE. shrinken, schrinken, AS. scrincan; akin to OD. schrincken, and probably to Sw. skrynka a wrinkle, skrynkla to wrinkle, to rumple, and E. shrimp, n. & v., scrimp. CF. Shrimp.]


To wrinkle, bend, or curl; to shrivel; hence, to contract into a less extent or compass; to gather together; to become compacted.

And on a broken reed he still did stay His feeble steps, which shrunk when hard thereon he lay. Spenser.

I have not found that water, by mixture of ashes, will shrink or draw into less room. Bacon.

Against this fire do I shrink up. Shak.

And shrink like parchment in consuming fire. Dryden.

All the boards did shrink. Coleridge.


To withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear; to recoil, as in fear, horror, or distress.

What happier natures shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right. Pope.

They assisted us against the Thebans when you shrank from the task. Jowett (Thucyd.)


To express fear, horror, or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake.




© Webster 1913.

Shrink, v. t.


To cause to contract or shrink; as, to shrink finnel by imersing it in boiling water.


To draw back; to withdraw.


The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn. Milton.

To shrink on Mach., to fix (one piece or part) firmly around (another) by natural contraction in cooling, as a tire on a wheel, or a hoop upon a cannon, which is made slightly smaller than the part it is to fit, and expanded by heat till it can be slipped into place.


© Webster 1913.

Shrink, n.

The act shrinking; shrinkage; contraction; also, recoil; withdrawal.

Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink, That I had less to praise. Leigh Hunt.


© Webster 1913.