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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

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

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


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 ?
The printer's version is distorted, so that when the label is shrunk in the tunnel, via hot air or steam, onto a curved or angled (or both) container, it will look recognizable to the viewer.
after 4-hr cure at 150 F, while the epoxy concrete shrunk 0.
Over the years, his head, soon to be seen in the new Disney video release ``Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves,'' has gone through a hat rack of bizarre headgear and hairstyles.
Wayne Szalinski (Moranis), the wacky but lovable inventor and father, has already shrunk his kids to the size of ants, enlarged a baby into a giant - and gotten out of it.
I don't think I've even been shrunk before,'' admits Moranis, who spends most of the new movie climbing wicker baskets, racing around in Matchbox cars and flying inside bubbles.
In the case of MyPicZip(TM), it's `Honey, I shrunk the kids' .
Disney Channel, the leader in television for kids and families, has acquired all 66 episodes of the popular live-action series "Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" is a one-hour comedy/adventure series starring Peter Scolari as the lovable but befuddled scientist Wayne Szalinski.
Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" is executive produced by John Landis and Leslie Belzberg, and co-executive produced by Ed Naha, co-writer of the screenplay for the feature film.
Nasdaq: VLSI) will soon ship the world's first ARM(TM) Thumb 16-bit memory word-length, 32-bit internal core shrunk to an advanced, 0.