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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.
See also: away, shrink, someone

shrink up

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 To become withdrawn socially.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.
See also: shrink, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
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.