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shrink away (from someone or something)
1. To withdraw, recede, or recoil (from someone or something). The way the gums are shrinking away from your teeth is a clear sign of gingivitis. The child shrank away as the strange man approached him.
2. To avoid or neglect some action, duty, or responsibility. You wanted to lead this branch, which means you can't shrink away from the thornier aspects of the job. We need someone who won't shrink away when it comes to making tough decisions.
1. To become shrunken or shriveled. These pants will shrink up if you wash them in hot water.
2. To cause something to become shrunken or shriveled. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "shrink" and "up." The plastic wrap fits loosely around the boxes, then the heat from the machine shrinks it up to create a snug fit.
3. To recoil and contract one's body into a smaller posture. The children shrank up as their parents began shouting at each other at the dinner table. I shrank up in the shadows of the alley to avoid being seen by the patrolling guards.
4. To become withdrawn socially. I've noticed Tom shrinking up more and more in the classroom. I'd better check to see that everything is all right. After the divorce, I just sort of shrank up and kept myself to myself.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.