Shrink vs Stickle - What's the difference?

shrink | stickle | Related terms |

Shrink is a related term of stickle.

As verbs the difference between shrink and stickle

is that shrink is to cause to become smaller while stickle is (obsolete) to act as referee or arbiter; to mediate.

As nouns the difference between shrink and stickle

is that shrink is shrinkage; contraction; recoil while stickle is (uk|dialect) a shallow rapid in a river.




  • 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




  • (obsolete) To act as referee or arbiter; to mediate.
  • To argue or struggle (for).
  • * 1897 , Henry James, What Maisie Knew :
  • ‘She has other people than poor little you to think about, and has gone abroad with them; so you needn't be in the least afraid she'll stickle this time for her rights.’
  • To raise objections; to argue stubbornly, especially over minor or trivial matters.
  • (obsolete) To separate, as combatants; hence, to quiet, to appease, as disputants.
  • * Drayton
  • Which [question] violently they pursue, / Nor stickled would they be.
  • (obsolete) To intervene in; to stop, or put an end to, by intervening.
  • * Sir Philip Sidney
  • They ran to him, and, pulling him back by force, stickled that unnatural fray.
  • (obsolete) To separate combatants by intervening.
  • * Dryden
  • When he [the angel] sees half of the Christians killed, and the rest in a fair way of being routed, he stickles betwixt the remainder of God's host and the race of fiends.
  • (obsolete) To contend, contest, or altercate, especially in a pertinacious manner on insufficient grounds.
  • * Hudibras
  • Fortune, as she's wont, turned fickle, / And for the foe began to stickle .
  • * Dryden
  • for paltry punk they roar and stickle
  • * Hazlitt
  • the obstinacy with which he stickles for the wrong


    (en noun)
  • (UK, dialect) A shallow rapid in a river.
  • (UK, dialect) The current below a waterfall.
  • * W. Browne
  • Patient anglers, standing all the day / Near to some shallow stickle or deep bay.


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