shrink / shringk/ • v. (past shrank / shrangk/ ; past part. shrunk / shrəngk/ or (esp. as adj. ) shrunk·en / ˈshrəngkən/ ) 1. become or make smaller in size or amount; contract or cause to contract: [intr.] the workforce has shrunk to less than a thousand | [tr.] the summer sun had shrunk and dried the wood. ∎ [intr.] (of clothes or material) become smaller as a result of being immersed in water. ∎ [as adj.] (shrunken) (esp. of a person's face or other part of the body) withered, wrinkled, or shriveled through old age or illness: a tiny shrunken face and enormous eyes. ∎ [intr.] (shrink into oneself) become withdrawn. ∎ [tr.] (shrink something on) slip a metal tire or other fitting on to (something) while it is expanded with heat and allow it to tighten in place: the metal is unsuitable for shrinking onto wooden staves.2. [intr.] move back or away, esp. because of fear or disgust: she shrank away from him, covering her face he shrank back against the wall. ∎ (shrink from) be averse to or unwilling to do (something difficult or unappealing): I don't shrink from my responsibilities.• n. inf. a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist: you should see a shrink.DERIVATIVES: shrink·a·ble adj.shrink·er n.shrink·ing·ly adv.