Definition for SHRINK

SHRINK, v.i. [pret. and pp. shrunk. The old pret. shrank and pp. shrunken are nearly obsolete. Sax. scrincan. If n is not radical, the root is rig or ryg.]

  1. 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 or hempen line shrinks in a humid atmosphere. Many substances shrink by drying.
  2. To shrivel; to become wrinkled by contraction; as the skin.
  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. – Shak.

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