shrink1 past tense shrank, past participle shrunk
1 [intransitive and transitive]
to become smaller, or to make something smaller, through the effects of heat or water: ➔ pre-shrunk, shrunken
I'm worried about washing that shirt in case it shrinks.
2 [intransitive and transitive]
to become or to make something smaller in amount, size, or value [≠ grow]:
The city continued to shrink.
The firm's staff had shrunk to only four people.
Treatment can shrink a tumour.
We want to expand the business, not shrink it.
3 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
to move back and away from something, especially because you are frightened:
She listened, shrinking under the blankets, to their shouts.
Meredith was scared of him and shrank back.
His anger was enough to make the others shrink away from him.
shrink from somethingphrasal verb
The leadership too often shrinks from hard decisions.
shrink from doing something
We will not shrink from making the necessary changes in policy.