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1. A headhunter who dries and shrinks the heads of enemies.
2. Slang A psychiatrist, especially a psychoanalyst.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Psychiatry) slang a psychoanalyst. Often shortened to: shrink
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) a head-hunter who shrinks the heads of his victims
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. shrank, often, shrunk; shrunk shrunk•en; shrink•ing; v.i.
1. to contract or lessen in size: cloth that shrinks if washed.
2. to become reduced in extent, compass, or value.
3. to draw back; recoil: to shrink from danger.
4. to cause to shrink or contract; reduce.
6. an act or instance of shrinking.
8. Slang. a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychoanalyst.
[before 900; Middle English schrinken, Old English scrincan, c. Middle Dutch schrinken, Swedish skrynka to shrink]

syn: See decrease.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. psiquiatra.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
"The Chicago Cubs and the Headshrinker: An Early Foray into Sports Psychology," Baseball Research Journal, 40(1) (2011): 42-5.
For whatever reason, I personally don't have a clear negative association to the term "shrink" or even "headshrinker." To me, it evokes something lighthearted and includes having a sense of humor about the field.
Two works from 1975, Mitchell's elegiac Drawing to James Schuyler's poem "Daylight" (a blaze of orange pastel) and Drawing to James Schuyler's poem "Sunday" (a lavender mist), would seem to come from another aesthetic planet than Rudy Burckhardt's boho-slapstick films Mounting Tension (1950, starring Freilicher as Rivers's headshrinker) and Money (1968, starring Edwin Denby as a mad billionaire)--except that each would be slighter and duller if seen alone.