Shrink vs Restrain - What's the difference?

shrink | restrain |

In lang=en terms the difference between shrink and restrain

is that shrink is to draw back; to withdraw while restrain is   to restrict or limit.

As verbs the difference between shrink and restrain

is that shrink is to cause to become smaller while restrain is   to control or keep in check.

As a noun shrink

is shrinkage; contraction; recoil.




  • To cause to become smaller.
  • The dryer shrank my sweater.
  • To become smaller; to contract.
  • This garment will shrink when wet.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • I have not found that water, by mixture of ashes, will shrink or draw into less room.
  • * Dryden
  • And shrink like parchment in consuming fire.
  • To cower or flinch.
  • Molly shrank away from the blows of the whip.
  • To draw back; to withdraw.
  • * Milton
  • The Libya Hammon shrinks his horn.
  • (figuratively) To withdraw or retire, as from danger.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • What happier natures shrink at with affright, / The hard inhabitant contends is right.
  • * Jowett (Thucyd.)
  • They assisted us against the Thebans when you shrank from the task.


    * (avoid an unwanted task) funk, shirk


    * (to cause to become smaller) expand, grow, enlarge, stretch * (become smaller) expand, grow, enlarge, stretch


    (en noun)
  • shrinkage; contraction; recoil
  • Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink , / That I had less to praise. — Leigh Hunt.
  • (slang, sometimes, pejorative) A psychiatrist or therapist; a head-shrinker.
  • You need to see a shrink .
    My shrink said that he was an enabler, bad for me.
  • * 1994 , (Green Day),
  • I went to a shrink , to analyze my dreams. He said it's lack of sex that's bringing my down.''

    Usage notes

    * The slang sense was originally pejorative, expressing a distrust of practitioners in the field. It is now not as belittling or trivializing.


    * head-shrinker




    (en verb)
  •   To control or keep in check.
  •   To deprive of liberty.
  •   To restrict or limit.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-05-17
  • , author=George Monbiot, authorlink=George Monbiot , title=Money just makes the rich suffer , volume=188, issue=23, page=19 , magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) citation , passage=In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. […]  The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra-wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.}}



    Derived terms

    * restraint


    * * * * * * English transitive verbs