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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

Adjective 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 Noun 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 American culture prioritizes being skinny at any cost. Ginny Graves,, "These 3 Women Are Changing How People Find Mental Health Support," 22 Apr. 2021 Tennant added that skinny jeans are still in style, but boot-cut or flared jeans are also in. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee-area boutique workers say the comfy attire trend is continuing. Here are five ways to pull it off in the office.," 15 Apr. 2021 Though Bergh has also noted skinny jeans are still an important part of Levi’s business and may not fully disappear. Marc Bain, Quartz, "After a 15-year skinny cycle, wide jeans are back," 9 Apr. 2021 Corners of TikTok have become breeding grounds for millennials desperately clinging to skinny jeans, side parts and Harry Potter as styles from the ‘00s make a comeback. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, "Keep your skinny jeans: Here’s what Gen Z actually wants from older generations," 6 Apr. 2021 Just as America had The Replacements, Scotland had Teenage Fanclub to carry the torch for rewriting Alex Chilton songs in skinny jeans. Brady Gerber, Vulture, "Creation Records, the Label History Loves to Overlook," 29 Mar. 2021 Our brick townhouse was skinny—just 17-feet wide—but four stories tall with lots of tiny rooms. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Kevin Bacon Grew Up Footloose and Captivated by Fame," 23 Mar. 2021 The low water makes many of our classic spring bays untenable for the fish because the water is too skinny. Jill Dutton, Field & Stream, "Low Pressure and Prime Conditions Make 2021 The Best Year to Book a Bucket-List Fishing Trip," 11 Mar. 2021 Cons: Has a very slight, skinny frame that falls way below the NFL unofficial standard for the position. USA TODAY, "2021 NFL draft wide receiver rankings: Ja'Marr Chase, Devonta Smith among top WR prospects," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Davis entered a program led by Patrick Nixon as a skinny, sub-6-foot quarterback in 2014. Kyle J. Andrews,, "Former Mervo quarterback Carlos Davis settling in at Western Carolina," 2 May 2021 Here's the skinny on how to watch the Oscars Sunday's Academy Awards air on ABC and also are viewable on the ABC app. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Oscars 2021: Chloé Zhao makes history, wins best director for 'Nomadland'," 25 Apr. 2021 Machine Gun Kelly, meanwhile, wore a sleek black leather coat along with an embellished blazer, black skinny jeans, and leather combat boots with a thick lug sole. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly Have Us Seeing Double," 8 Apr. 2021 Still others use fat-shaming, which reduces a complex oppressive system to individual acts of aggression and frequently invites derailing arguments about skinny-shaming. Your Fat Friend, SELF, "I’m a Fat Activist. I Don’t Use the Word ‘Fatphobia.’ Here’s Why.," 29 Mar. 2021 Steaks range from a 10-ounce, 14-day aged strip steak for $55, to $190 for a 12-ounce A5 Japanese Wagyu sirloin skinny cut. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chef Richard Blais-helmed Ember & Rye restaurant opens in Carlsbad," 19 Mar. 2021 The Reggie Millers have very little in common other than both being Division I college basketball players and skinny. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "Meet Reggie Miller. No, not THAT Reggie Miller, the Abilene Christian point guard," 21 Mar. 2021 Watching a woman whip up a batch of cappelletti in a matter of minutes is amazing and all, but where is the skinny-dipping? Los Angeles Times, "Column: Stanley Tucci is magical. Why does his Italy travel show leave me so enraged?," 7 Mar. 2021 Want to go skinny-dipping in the campus river at midnight? Emma Specter, Vogue, "The Year My Pessimism Saved Me," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for skinny

Time Traveler

The first known use of skinny was circa 1541

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Statistics for skinny

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skinny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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