1become or make smaller in size or amount: [no object]:the workforce shrank to a thousand [with object]:the sun had shrunk and dried the wood (as adjective shrinking)the shrinking market has provoked a massive price war
[no object] (of clothes or material) become smaller as a result of being immersed in water:she wore a sweater which had shrunk slightly
(as adjective shrunken) (of a person’s face or other part of the body) wrinkled or shrivelled through old age or illness:a tiny shrunken face and enormous eyes
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] move back or away, especially because of fear or disgust:she shrank away from him, covering her facehe shrank back against the wall
[often with negative] (shrink from) be averse to or unwilling to do (something difficult or unappealing):I don’t shrink from my responsibilities
[no object] (shrink into oneself) become withdrawn.