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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

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

pink it and shrink it

slang A strategy used in marketing and producing goods for women in which an existing product (especially one for men) is simply made smaller and pink. The variant "shrink it and pink it" is also used. What genius applied "pink it and shrink it" to sports jerseys? I don't want a jersey that's pink and sparkly, thank you very much!
See also: and, pink, shrink

shrink it and pink it

slang A strategy used in marketing and producing goods for women in which an existing product (especially one for men) is simply made smaller and pink. The variant "pink it and shrink it" is also used. What genius applied "shrink it and pink it" to sports jerseys? I don't want a jersey that's pink and sparkly, thank you very much!
See also: and, pink, shrink

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

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]
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a shrinking violet

If you describe someone as a shrinking violet, you mean that they are very shy. Give him a tough assignment and he turns into a shrinking violet. None of the women he paints could be described as shrinking violets. Note: You can say that someone is no shrinking violet to mean that they are very self-confident. Amber is no shrinking violet. She is a brash colourful character. Note: In the past, violets were considered to be a symbol of modesty, because of their small size and the fact that the flowers remain hidden among the leaves until they open.
See also: shrink, violet

shrinking violet

an exaggeratedly shy person. informal
2004 Sunday Times Clough was no shrinking violet. He had absolute belief in himself and his methods, and wasn't afraid to say so to anybody.
See also: shrink, violet

a ˌshrinking ˈviolet

(humorous) a very shy person who is easily frightened: I can’t imagine why a dynamic young woman like her is marrying a shrinking violet like him.
See also: shrink, violet

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

A very shy individual. Why the violet, a small but common shade-loving perennial, should be chosen to designate shyness is unclear. On the contrary, violets can boldly take over patches of ground, and gardeners may even find them difficult to eradicate from unwanted spaces. Nevertheless, the phrase has been used since the early 1900s. The Listener stated (July 22, 1976), “Frayn has not forgotten the underdog. . . . The shrinking violet . . . is the most dangerous plant in the glades of privilege.”
See also: shrink

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 ?
shrunk or shrunk*en \'shr[schwa][tailed n]-k[schwa]n\
That number has since shrunk to about 40--a result of acquisitions and product dropouts caused by the intense competition and vendors' inability to keep up with technological advances.
Research conducted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has found that poorly capitalized institutions have shrunk more than their better capitalized competitors.
Most acrylic-based cold foil adhesives will crack if used on shrink film once the sleeve is shrunk on a container, so make sure the adhesive is suitable for shrinkability.
after 4-hr cure at 150 F, while the epoxy concrete shrunk 0.0016 in./in.; dimensional stability of the polyester concrete was better; and the polyester concrete had better linear coefficient of thermal expansion than the epoxy.
Following the printing, a seam is created to wrap around a physical object and then it is shrunk by heat.
Satellite measurements reveal that over the last 15 years, the extent of polar sea ice has shrunk by 6 percent.