Retreat vs Shrink - What's the difference?

retreat | shrink |

As nouns the difference between retreat and shrink

is that retreat is the act of pulling back or withdrawing, as from something dangerous, or unpleasant while shrink is shrinkage; contraction; recoil.

As verbs the difference between retreat and shrink

is that retreat is to withdraw military forces while shrink is to cause to become smaller.




(en noun)
  • The act of pulling back or withdrawing, as from something dangerous, or unpleasant.
  • * Shakespeare
  • In a retreat he outruns any lackey.
  • The act of reversing direction and receding from a forward position.
  • A peaceful, quiet place affording privacy or security.
  • * L'Estrange
  • He built his son a house of pleasure, and spared no cost to make a delicious retreat .
  • * Dryden
  • That pleasing shade they sought, a soft retreat / From sudden April showers, a shelter from the heat.
  • A period of retirement, seclusion, or solitude.
  • A period of meditation, prayer or study.
  • Withdrawal by military force from a dangerous position or from enemy attack.
  • A signal for a military withdrawal.
  • A bugle call or drumbeat signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset, as on a military base.
  • A military ceremony to lower the flag.
  • (chess) The move of a piece from a threatened position.
  • See also

    * religious retreat


    (en verb)
  • To withdraw military forces.
  • Anagrams

    * *




  • 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