intransitive verbshrank or shrunk, shrunk or shrunk′en, shrink′ing
- to become or seem to become smaller, more compact, etc.; contract, as from heat, cold, moisture, etc.
- to lessen, as in amount, worth, etc.
- to draw back; turn away; cower, as from fear
- to hold back, as from taking action; hesitate or recoil: to shrink from doing one's duty
Origin of shrinkMiddle English schrynken from Old English scrincan, akin to Swedish skrynka, to wrinkle from Indo-European an unverified form (s)kreng- from base an unverified form (s)ker-, to bend, turn from source shrimp, Classical Greek kirkos, a ring, Classical Latin curvus, curved
- a shrinking; shrinkage
Origin of shrink< (head)shrink(er)Slang a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist