shrink

Shrink is the informal word you can use to talk about a therapist. Talking about your problems with her can hopefully help you shrink them, or make them smaller.

The word shrink is related to the Swedish skrynka meaning "to wrinkle." Think about what happens to a lone forgotten fruit at the bottom of your fridge drawer. After a while, it begins to wrinkle or shrink. Clothes washed in hot water tend to shrink, so be wary of the setting on your washing machine. The use of shrink as referring to therapists started as late as the 1960s — with the idea of a psychologist being a "head-shrinker."

Primary Meanings of shrink

1.
v
wither, as with a loss of moisture
2.
n
a physician who specializes in psychiatry
Full Definitions of shrink
1

v wither, as with a loss of moisture

Synonyms:
shrivel, shrivel up, wither
Types:
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atrophy
undergo atrophy
blast
shrivel or wither or mature imperfectly
die back, die down
suffer from a disease that kills shoots
dry up, mummify
dry up and shrivel due to complete loss of moisture
Type of:
decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
decrease in size, extent, or range

v decrease in size, range, or extent

“His earnings shrank
Synonyms:
shrivel
Type of:
decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
decrease in size, extent, or range

v reduce in size; reduce physically

“Hot water will shrink the sweater”
“Can you shrink this image?”
Synonyms:
reduce
Types:
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reduce, scale down
make smaller
reef
reduce (a sail) by taking in a reef
miniaturise, miniaturize
design or construct on a smaller scale
depopulate, desolate
reduce in population
downsize
make in a smaller size
contract
make smaller
purse, wrinkle
gather or contract into wrinkles or folds; pucker
Type of:
decrease, lessen, minify
make smaller

v become smaller or draw together

“The fabric shrank
“The balloon shrank
Synonyms:
contract
Antonyms:
stretch
become longer by being stretched and pulled
expand, spread out
extend in one or more directions
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Types:
flex
contract
Type of:
decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
decrease in size, extent, or range

v draw back, as with fear or pain

Synonyms:
cringe, flinch, funk, quail, recoil, squinch, wince
Types:
retract, shrink back
pull away from a source of disgust or fear
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
2

n a physician who specializes in psychiatry

Synonyms:
head-shrinker, psychiatrist
Examples:
show 9 examples...
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Karen Danielsen Horney
United States psychiatrist (1885-1952)
Karl Theodor Jaspers
German psychiatrist (1883-1969)
Charles Frederick Menninger
United States psychiatrist who with his sons founded a famous psychiatric clinic in Topeka (1862-1953)
Karl Augustus Menninger
United States psychiatrist and son of Charles Menninger (1893-1990)
William Claire Menninger
United States psychiatrist and son of Charles Menninger (1899-1966)
Harry Stack Sullivan
United States psychiatrist (1892-1949)
Sigmund Freud
Austrian neurologist who originated psychoanalysis (1856-1939)
Melanie Klein
United States psychoanalyst (born in Austria) who was the first to specialize in the psychoanalysis of small children (1882-1960)
Wilhelm Reich
Austrian born psychoanalyst who lived in the United States; advocated sexual freedom and believed that cosmic energy could be concentrated in a human being (1897-1957)
Types:
alienist
a psychiatrist and specialist in the legal aspects of mental illness
analyst, psychoanalyst
a licensed practitioner of psychoanalysis
Type of:
medical specialist, specialist
practices one branch of medicine

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