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shrink back

To recede or recoil. The way the gums are shrinking back from your teeth is a clear sign of gingivitis. The child shrank back when we approached the house.
See also: back, shrink

shrink from (someone or something)

1. To recede or recoil from someone or something. The way the gums are shrinking from your teeth is a clear sign of gingivitis. The child shrank from the men as they approached the house.
2. To avoid or neglect some action, duty, or responsibility. You wanted to lead this branch, which means you can't shrink from the thornier aspects of the job. We need someone who won't shrink from making tough decisions.
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
References in classic literature ?
Life now, by the morning light, with the impression of that man's hard wondering look at her, was as full of dread as death--it was worse; it was a dread to which she felt chained, from which she shrank and shrank as she did from the black pool, and yet could find no refuge from it.
He knelt down and began to unlace her shoes, while Hilda shrank into the chair.
1 : to make or become smaller <The sweater shrank when it got wet.
Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest lake and an extremely popular recreation area 90 miles southwest of Budapest, shrank dramatically.
In 2001, this sector slowed for the first time in about seven years and even shrank a couple of percentage points during 2002.
The seagoing reptiles shrank by as much as 20 percent during a 2-year food shortage inflicted by El Nino, says Martin Wikelski of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.