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shrinking violet

A negative term for a very shy person. After years of being seen as nothing more than a shrinking violet, Christine decided to overcome her fears and start talking to strangers.
See also: shrink, violet

shrinking violet

Fig. someone who is very shy and not assertive. I am not exactly a shrinking violet, but I don't have the guts to say what you said to her.
See also: shrink, violet

a shrinking violet

a very shy person (usually negative) She's no shrinking violet. I wouldn't exactly describe him as a shrinking violet.
See also: shrink, violet

shrinking violet, a

An extremely shy person, as in She was a shrinking violet until she went away to college. This metaphoric idiom refers to the flower, but the precise allusion is unclear, since violets thrive under a variety of conditions and often are considered a garden weed. [Early 1900s]
See also: shrink

shrink back

v.
To draw back instinctively, as in alarm; recoil: The dog shrank back in fear when I raised my hand.
See also: back, shrink

shrink from

v.
1. To draw back instinctively from someone or something; recoil from someone or something: The cat shrank from my touch.
2. To show reluctance to engage in or do something; hesitate to perform something, especially out of fear: I will not shrink from my duty as captain to defend the ship. They will not shrink from prosecuting each of us if they catch us stealing.
See also: shrink

shrink

n. a psychoanalyst or psychotherapist. I dropped a bundle on a shrink, but it didn’t help me.

shrinking violet

A shy person. The violet flower gives the impression of shyness, growing as it does close to the protective ground and often beneath other plants, shrubs and trees. Compared to other larger foliage, violets do seem to look as though they are shrinking, growing smaller. As applied to shy people, the phrase first appeared in both America and Great Britain in the 1820s.
See also: shrink, violet
References in periodicals archive ?
It was obvious that the core drill in a Shrinker tool holder offered enormous benefits in each category compared to conventional holders.
The system combines Briney's Shrinker Thermo-Contraction Toolholding System with a Speroni tool presetter and software for use with shrink fit automotive industry tooling.
His discharge equipment included residual-limb shrinkers, two triangular bed wedges, a left wrist and finger dorsal resting hand splint, a hemisling, a power tilt/recline/elevate wheelchair, a skin inspection mirror, and a Bioness (Valencia, California) hand functional electrical stimulation unit.
John Holt and Son, Ltd, London Shrinkers and Waterproofers, was formed in Huddersfield in the mid 1800s by Oxfordshire John's great-great grandfather.
Among the savings shrinkers are big banks such as Abbey, Lloyds TSB and NatWest.
Instead, aided by the most expensive bunch of coaches, fitness trainers, medical men and head shrinkers ever assembled in the cause of sport, Woodward took the joy out of the game and made them a team of automatons.
To help readers identify foods for their fitness and health goals, the products on the list are identified as muscle builders, heart helpers, stomach fillers, gut shrinkers and cancer fighters.
And just like other businesses, the group, which also owns Liverpool's John Lennon and Doncaster Sheffield airports, is looking at footprint shrinkers from biomass to electric vehicles.
Find yourself a friend with a Costco card and you'll get For All Mankind jeans, the ultimate bum shrinkers, for pounds 86.
The head shrinkers who work out supermarket methods have discovered that there is a curious reluctance to make the first purchase.
Do yourself a favour and think big for 2000 and leave the pain and denial to the glittering cast of wishful shrinkers.