skin·​ny | \ ˈski-nē How to pronounce skinny (audio) \
skinnier; skinniest

Definition of skinny

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : resembling skin : membranous
2a : lacking sufficient flesh : very thin : emaciated
b : lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities, or significance
3 of clothes : fitting very close to the body : very tight skinny jeans
4 : made with skim milk a skinny latte



Definition of skinny (Entry 2 of 2)

: inside information : dope the straight skinny on what's going on— John Geary

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Other Words from skinny


skinniness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for skinny

Synonyms: Adjective

fine, hairline, narrow, needlelike, paper-thin, slender, slim, slim-jim, thin, ultrathin

Synonyms: Noun

411 [slang], book, dope, inside, lowdown, poop [slang], scoop, tip

Antonyms: Adjective

broad, fat, wide

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Choose the Right Synonym for skinny


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 skinny in a Sentence


the tree swing was supported only by a couple of skinny branches her grandmother was always insisting that she was too skinny and never tired of trying to force more food on her


a TV show that offers all the skinny on Tinseltown and the stars that light it up
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Eileen Fisher Jean Leggings These Eileen Fisher pants give you the comfort of leggings with the look of black skinny jeans. Elaheh Nozari, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything Worth Buying at This Year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale," 19 July 2019 If your object is skinny and tall, lay it on its side. Scientific American, "Distorted Images," 6 June 2019 The figure greeting me at the Birmingham airport, however, was skinny and stooped—conspicuously deflated. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 In the footage, his children can be seen crouched in the darkness nearby, the camera’s dim light illuminating grimy faces, filthy clothes and skinny bodies. Ammar Cheikh Omar, NBC News, "Bombings traumatize Syrian children, drive families underground," 25 Jan. 2018 Asghari wore a handsome beige suit with a skinny black tie. Ashley Boucher,, "Britney Spears and Sam Asghari Make First Premiere Appearance as a Couple," 23 July 2019 The rain was pouring and the wind howling, but when a soft-spoken, skinny man made a speech in front of the crowd, the protesters paid attention. Rong Xiaoqing, National Review, "The Rise of the Chinese-American Right," 17 July 2019 Meyerson was with about two dozen people in a breakout session when Perot strode in with his buzz cut, his skinny tie and his white shirt. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Remembering Ross Perot: The boss had a complicated but never dull relationship with Morton Meyerson, employee No. 54," 14 July 2019 According to a study appearing today in the British Medical Journal, folks with skinny thighs may be at greater risk of heart disease and premature death than their chunkier brethren. Newsweek, "Amazing Photos of Bioluminescent Phytoplankton," 14 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The skinny on Teng: Off to a great start to his professional career since signing out of Taiwan in 2017, Teng had a 3.59 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 42 2/3 rookie-league innings last year. Ron Kroichick,, "Giants trades breakdown: The skinny on Scooter Gennett, 7 other acquisitions," 31 July 2019 Burroughs was an ethereal intermediary between here and the fiery beyond, pausing to give us the purgatorial skinny. Alexander C. Kafka, Washington Post, "How David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Patti Smith and other musicians fell for William S. Burroughs," 21 June 2019 Sibley entered his freshman year as a skinny, 6-foot-6 and unpolished ball of potential after attending Blessed Savior in middle school. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Another top basketball player is leaving Wisconsin, months after winning a state title," 24 July 2019 The alleged shooter is a skinny, tattooed 25-year-old whom U.S. prosecutors said is wanted on armed robbery and gun charges in New Jersey. Washington Post, "Dominican AG: Ortiz shooting result of mistaken identity," 19 June 2019 Cyclist and author Kelton Wright has the skinny on staying safe on two wheels Cycling in Los Angeles can be intimidating. Gwynedd Stuart, Los Angeles Magazine, "3 Cycling Tips From the Woman Who Wrote the Book on Riding a Bike in L.A.," 1 Feb. 2018 Her skin was bluish-purple and her partially naked body skinny from the advanced effects of starvation. Christopher Harress |,, "Dad jailed in starving death of 13-month-old girl seeks return to military job," 10 July 2019 Eleven suspects have been arrested, including the alleged shooter identified as Rolfy Ferreyra, aka Sandy, a skinny, tattooed 25-year-old whom U.S. prosecutors said is wanted on armed robbery and gun charges in New Jersey. Author: Danica Coto, Anchorage Daily News, "Dominican AG: David Ortiz shooting was the result of mistaken identity," 19 June 2019 Eleven suspects have been arrested, including the alleged shooter identified as Rolfy Ferreyra, aka Sandy, a skinny, tattooed 25-year-old whom U.S. prosecutors said is wanted on armed robbery and gun charges in New Jersey., "David Ortiz shooting a result of mistaken identity: prosecutor," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skinny.' 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 skinny


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1938, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for skinny


perhaps from skin entry 1 + -y entry 4

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Statistics for skinny

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skinny

The first known use of skinny was circa 1541

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More Definitions for skinny



English Language Learners Definition of skinny

informal : very thin or too thin


skin·​ny | \ ˈski-nē How to pronounce skinny (audio) \
skinnier; skinniest

Kids Definition of skinny

: very thin skinny legs

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More from Merriam-Webster on skinny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skinny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skinny

Spanish Central: Translation of skinny

Nglish: Translation of skinny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skinny for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skinny

What made you want to look up skinny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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