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."

Definitions of shrink
  1. verb
    wither, as with a loss of moisture
    synonyms: shrivel, shrivel up, wither
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    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
  2. verb
    decrease in size, range, or extent
    “His earnings shrank
    synonyms: shrivel
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    type of:
    decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
    decrease in size, extent, or range
  3. verb
    reduce in size; reduce physically
    “Hot water will shrink the sweater”
    “Can you shrink this image?”
    synonyms: reduce
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    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
  4. verb
    become smaller or draw together
    “The fabric shrank
    “The balloon shrank
    synonyms: contract
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    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
  5. verb
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    synonyms: cringe, flinch, funk, quail, recoil, squinch, wince
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    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
  6. noun
    a physician who specializes in psychiatry
    synonyms: head-shrinker, psychiatrist
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    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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