shrink Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “shrink” in the English Dictionary

"shrink" in British English

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shrinkverb

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

B2 [I or T] to ​becomesmaller, 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 ​productivityimprovements have shrunk ​ourcosts by 25 ​percent.
See also

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 ​fathershouted at him. When she was ​younger she would shrink (away) from me ​whenever I ​spoke to her.
shrinkage
noun [U] uk   us   /ˈʃrɪŋ.kɪdʒ/
Synthetic ​fabrics are less ​susceptible to shrinkage than ​naturalones.
Phrasal verbs

shrinknoun [C]

uk   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 ​becomesmaller or ​cause something to ​becomesmaller: [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 ​profitmargins will shrink during the coming ​quarter.shrink by sth The ​economy shrunk by .04% in ​realterms.shrink to sth Our ​share of the US ​market has shrunk to 27%.
[T] to make something ​smaller: We hope the ​measures will ​savemoney and shrink the company's ​carbonfootprint.
(Definition of shrink from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“shrink” in Business English

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