scraw·​ny | \ ˈskrȯ-nē How to pronounce scrawny (audio) \
scrawnier; scrawniest

Definition of scrawny

: exceptionally thin and slight or meager in body or size scrawny scrub cattle

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Other Words from scrawny

scrawniness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scrawny

lean, spare, lank, lanky, gaunt, rawboned, scrawny, skinny mean thin because of an absence of excess flesh. lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours. a lean racehorse spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise. the gymnast's spare figure lank implies tallness as well as leanness. the lank legs of the heron lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness. a lanky youth, all arms and legs gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering. a prisoner's gaunt face rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment. a rawboned farmer scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality. a scrawny chicken skinny street urchins

Examples of scrawny in a Sentence

The only plants in their yard were a couple of scrawny bushes.
Recent Examples on the Web The centerpiece of the room is a cat playing a piano, a rather impressive piece of theme park robotics in which the scrawny cat stalks the keys. Todd Martens Game Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Robotic alley cats? Universal’s ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ is old school and devastatingly cute," 16 Apr. 2021 If the cart has no chance, the scrawny teenager driving has less. Frank Fellone, Arkansas Online, "State home to short highways," 3 Apr. 2021 Now, the once scrawny kid will go down in school history, his name forever attached to one of the tournament’s greatest upsets. Dallas News, "Once scrawny and 130 pounds, ACU guard Reggie Miller had to play big to reach NCAA Tournament," 21 Mar. 2021 The twins grew and grew, turning from scrawny baby birds into soft little piglets. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Isolation of New Parenthood During the Pandemic," 10 Mar. 2021 But there was actually a place for my scrawny body in the gay imagination. Logan Scherer, Bon Appétit, "I Ate Like a Boy to Avoid Being a Queer Man," 9 Mar. 2021 As a high school junior, Stephen Curry was so scrawny that his size small Charlotte Christian Knights jersey looked baggy on him. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: The Tahoe rental reckoning," 19 Feb. 2021 Particularly about a scrawny sixth-round pick who was making a big impression as a Drew Bledsoe understudy. Globe Staff,, "Phil Simms knows Tom Brady’s game better than any NFL analyst," 6 Feb. 2021 Rodgers was scrawny and not especially tall in those days, slinging passes downfield but drawing little interest from Division I college programs, much to his frustration. Ron Kroichick,, "Long before the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers left NorCal foes in awe," 22 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scrawny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scrawny

1833, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scrawny

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for scrawny

Time Traveler

The first known use of scrawny was in 1833

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Statistics for scrawny

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scrawny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for scrawny



English Language Learners Definition of scrawny

: very thin in a way that is not attractive or healthy


scraw·​ny | \ ˈskrȯ-nē How to pronounce scrawny (audio) \
scrawnier; scrawniest

Kids Definition of scrawny

: poorly nourished : skinny a scrawny cat

More from Merriam-Webster on scrawny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scrawny

Nglish: Translation of scrawny for Spanish Speakers

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