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English definition of “crawl/go/retreat/retire into your shell”

crawl/go/retreat/retire into your shell

to become less interested in other people and less willing to talk and take part in social activities: The more they tried to get her to talk about her experiences, the further she retreated back into her shell.
(Definition of crawl/go/retreat/retire into your shell from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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