American Dictionary of the English Language

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SHRINK, verb intransitive preterit tense and participle passive shrunk. the old preterit tense shrank and participle passive shrunken are nearly obsolete.

To contract spontaneously; to draw or be drawn into less length, breadth or compass by an inherent power; as, woolen cloth shrinks in hot water; a flaxen of hempen line shrinks in a humid atmosphere. Many substances shrink by drying.

2. To shrivel; to become wrinkled by contraction; as th eskin.

3. To withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear. A brave man never shrinks from danger; a good man does not shrink from duty.

4. To recoil, as in fear, horror or distress. My mind shrinks from the recital of our woes.

What happier natures shrink at with affright,

The hard inhabitant contends is right. Pope.

5. To express fear, horror or pain by shrugging or contracting the body.

SHRINK, verb transitive to cause to contract; as, to shrink by immersing it in boiling water.

O mighty Cesar, dost thou lie so low!

Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,

Shrunk to this little measure! Shak.

SHRINK, noun

1. Contraction; a spontaneous drawing into less compass; corrugation.

2. Contraction; a withdrawing from fear or horror.