Etymology
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shrivel (v.)

"contract, draw, or be drawn into wrinkles," 1560s (implied in shriveled), a word of unknown origin, not found in Middle English; perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish skryvla "to wrinkle, to shrivel"), and perhaps ultimately connected with shrimp (n.) and shrink (v.). Related: Shriveled; shriveling.

Middle English did have rivelled "wrinkled, furrowed," from Old English rifelede, from *rifel "a wrinkle or fold on the skin," a word of obscure origin, "very common c 1530-1720" [OED] in the senses "dried" (of fruit), "shriveled by heat."

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scrimp (v.)

1774, "to make too small, to pinch or scant," originally in English an adjective, "scant, meager" (1718), possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish skrumpna "to shrink, shrivel up," Danish skrumpen "shrunken, shriveled," Norwegian dialectal skramp "thin man"), or from a continental Germanic source akin to Middle High German schrimpfen, German schrumpfen "to shrivel" (from Proto-Germanic *skrimp-, from PIE root *(s)kerb- "to turn, bend").

The meaning "economize" is by 1848. Related: Scrimped; scrimping.

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slink (v.)
Old English slincan "to creep, crawl" (of reptiles), from Proto-Germanic *slinkan (source also of Swedish slinka "to glide," Dutch slinken "to shrink, shrivel;" related to sling (v.)). Of persons, attested from late 14c. Related: Slinked; slinking.
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scrawny (adj.)

"meager, wasted, raw-boned," 1824, apparently a dialectal variant of scranny "lean, thin" (1820), which is of uncertain origin but probably from a Scandinavian source, perhaps Old Norse skrælna "to shrivel." Compare scrannel. Related: Scrawniness.

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mummify (v.)

1620s, "embalm and dry (a dead body) as a mummy," from French momifier, from momie "mummy," from Medieval Latin mumia (see mummy) + -fier "to make into" (see -fy). Intransitive sense "shrivel or dry up" is by 1864. Related: Mummified; mummifying.

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wither (v.)
1530s, alteration of Middle English wydderen "dry up, shrivel" (late 14c.), intransitive, apparently a differentiated and special use of wederen "to expose to weather" (see weather (v.)). Compare German verwittern "to become weather-beaten," from Witter "weather." Transitive sense from 1550s. Related: Withered; withering; witheringly.
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wizen (v.)

Old English wisnian, weosnian "to wither, dry up, waste away," from Proto-Germanic *wisnon (source also of Old Norse visna "to wither," Old High German wesanen "to dry up, shrivel, wither;" German verwesen "to decay, rot"). Related: Wizened.

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crumple (v.)

early 14c.,  cromplen, crumplen, "press into irregular folds, rumple, wrinkle," also intransitive, "contract into wrinkles, shrink, shrivel," frequentative of crumpen "to curl up" (from Old English crump "bent, crooked"), from Proto-Germanic *krumbo- "to press, squeeze, compress" (source also of German krumm "crooked, warped"). Related: Crumpled; crumpling.

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cling (v.)
Old English clingan "hold fast, adhere closely; congeal, shrivel" (strong verb, past tense clang, past participle clungen), from Proto-Germanic *klingg- (source also of Danish klynge "to cluster;" Old High German klinga "narrow gorge;" Old Norse klengjask "press onward;" Danish klinke, Dutch klinken "to clench;" German Klinke "latch").

The main sense shifted in Middle English to "adhere to" (something else), "stick together." Of persons in embrace, c. 1600. Figuratively (to hopes, outmoded ideas, etc.), from 1580s. Of clothes from 1792. Related: Clung; clinging.
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shrink (v.)

Middle English shrinken, from Old English scrincan "to draw in the limbs, contract spontaneously, shrivel up; wither (through death, age, disease, etc.), pine away" (class III strong verb; past tense scranc, past participle scruncen), from Proto-Germanic *skrink- (source also of Middle Dutch schrinken, Swedish skrynka "to wrinkle"), probably from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."

Originally it had a causal form, shrench (compare drink/drench). The sense of "become reduced in size" is recorded from late 13c. The meaning "draw back, recoil" (early 14c.) often was in reference to the behavior of snails; the meaning "flinch, wince, draw back from fear or shame" is by mid-14c. The transitive sense of "cause to shrink, make to appear smaller" is from late 14c.

Shrink-wrap "clingy thin plastic film" used in food packaging is attested from 1961 (shrinking-wrap is by 1959). Shrinking violet "shy person" is attested by 1882.

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