shrink Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “shrink” in the English Dictionary

"shrink" in British English

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shrinkverb

uk   /ʃrɪŋk/  us   /ʃrɪŋk/ (shrank, shrunk)
  • shrink verb (BECOME SMALLER)

B2 [I or T] to become smaller, or to make something smaller: Your sweater will shrink if you wash it at too high a temperature. The company's profits have shrunk from $5.5 million to $1.25 million. The productivity improvements have shrunk our costs by 25 percent.
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expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • shrink verb (BE FRIGHTENED)

[I usually + adv/prep] literary to move away from someone or something because you are frightened: The child shrank behind the sofa as his father shouted at him. When she was younger she would shrink (away) from me whenever I spoke to her.
shrinkage
noun [U] uk   /ˈʃrɪŋ.kɪdʒ/  us   /ˈʃrɪŋ.kɪdʒ/
Synthetic fabrics are less susceptible to shrinkage than natural ones.
Phrasal verbs

shrinknoun [C]

uk   /ʃrɪŋk/  us   /ʃrɪŋk/ informal
a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst: I was so depressed that I ended up going to see a shrink.
(Definition of shrink from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shrink" in American English

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shrinkverb

 us   /ʃrɪŋk/ (past tense shrank  /ʃræŋk/ or shrunk  /ʃrʌŋk/ , past participle shrunk  /ʃrʌŋk/ or shrunken  /ˈʃrʌŋ·kən/ )
  • shrink verb (BECOME SMALLER)

[I/T] to become smaller or cause something to become smaller: [I] The show’s audience has shrunk in the last few months. [T] I shrank my sweater by putting it in the dryer!
  • shrink verb (MOVE AWAY)

[I always + adv/prep] to move away from something unpleasant or frightening: My first reaction was to shrink in disgust at the sight of it.
[I always + adv/prep] If you shrink from something, you avoid it: Kate’s a good worker, but she seems to shrink from responsibility.

shrinknoun [C]

 us   /ʃrɪŋk/ slang
  • shrink noun [C] (DOCTOR)

(Definition of shrink from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"shrink" in Business English

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shrinkverb

uk   us   /ʃrɪŋk/ (shrank, shrunk)
[I] to become smaller: Investors fear that profit margins will shrink during the coming quarter.shrink by sth The economy shrunk by .04% in real terms.shrink to sth Our share of the US market has shrunk to 27%.
[T] to make something smaller: We hope the measures will save money and shrink the company's carbon footprint.
(Definition of shrink from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“shrink” in Business English

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