Shrink 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}.] 1. To wrinkle, bend, or curl; to shrivel; hence, to contract into a less extent or compass; to gather together; to become compacted. [1913 Webster]

And on a broken reed he still did stay His feeble steps, which shrunk when hard thereon he lay. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

I have not found that water, by mixture of ashes, will shrink or draw into less room. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

Against this fire do I shrink up. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

And shrink like parchment in consuming fire. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

All the boards did shrink. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

2. To withdraw or retire, as from danger; to decline action from fear; to recoil, as in fear, horror, or distress. [1913 Webster]

What happier natures shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

They assisted us against the Thebans when you shrank from the task. --Jowett (Thucyd.) [1913 Webster]

3. To express fear, horror, or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake. [R.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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