skin·ny | \ ˈski-nē \
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

bony (also boney), fatless, lean, lithe, slender, slim, spare, svelte, thin

Antonyms: Adjective

chubby, corpulent, fat, obese, overweight, plump, portly, rotund, tubby

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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

Your perfectly tarnished skinny gold rope tucked into the neck of your T-shirt. GQ, "No Stone Unturned: A Man’s Guide to Jewelry," 6 Mar. 2018 With lightning reflexes and a thick hide, a mongoose can tangle with a venomous snake—and end up enjoying a long, skinny meal. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Why Mongooses All Give Birth on the Same Day," 2 June 2018 One side of the Malibu pop-up features Rowley’s wetsuits and swimwear, and the other side has a mix of casual, colorful staples such as T-shirts, skinny pants, trapeze dresses and silk tops. Kavita Daswani,, "Cynthia Rowley brings swimwear, 'casual, cool' fashion offerings to spring/summer outpost in Malibu," 21 June 2018 More recently, some of the male weathercasters also have been wearing too tight/too short jackets and the awful skinny pants, which look terrible on most all men. Ellen Warren,, "Is that handbag real, or fake? Here's how to prove your designer bag is the real thing," 4 June 2018 First of all, the skinny young man in the video would have to get the message. Dan Rodricks,, "Rodricks: This restaurateur has something for the man who stole from him: a job," 2 June 2018 Both described the driver as a heavy set man, and said the passenger was skinny and had his arms wrapped around the driver's waist. Heather Nolan,, "Man convicted in 2016 motorcycle wreck that killed charter school teacher," 10 May 2018 But Laurel and Hardy were the team, the pair that played off each other, the fat man and the skinny man. Ed Symkus,, "Making music with Laurel and Hardy," 3 May 2018 Three skinny young men hover around 100 yards away. Lawahez Jabari, NBC News, "Slap heard ‘round the world: Ahed Tamimi becomes symbol of Palestinian resistance," 10 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Give your legs a break once in a while and swap your skinnies for looser cuts this season. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "9 Super Cute Ways to Update Your Back-to-School Style," 19 Aug. 2015 The skinny: This Colombian team will play a lot like the one that followed Rodriguez to the quarterfinals four years ago. Kevin Baxter,, "Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez lead Colombia into World Cup competition," 11 June 2018 The skinny: Jeff Green had a great series against the Raptors (12.3 points, .438 3-point shooting)., "Do the Celtics have or need an answer for LeBron James? Eastern Conference finals matchups and predictions," 11 May 2018 The skinny: Michigan signee totaled 1,810 points and 910 rebounds in his four-year career. Detroit Free Press, "Meet the Detroit Free Press boys basketball Dream Team," 15 Apr. 2018 Irish American Heritage Festival When: July 6-8 Where: Irving Park How much: $10 The skinny: St. Patrick's Day is cool, but this is the real deal. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this week: Taste of Chicago, Millennium Art Festival, Live on Lincoln," 3 July 2018 But Brainstorm Health readers, happily, don’t have to wait to get some inside skinny on why Gawande got the job—and what his initial marching orders are. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "What Jamie Dimon Saw in Atul Gawande: “A Big Brain and A Big Heart”," 22 June 2018 Billboard Dance caught up with Vega to get the skinny on this new release with an exclusive album breakdown. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Louie Vega Breaks Down 'NYC Disco' Double Album: Exclusive," 29 June 2018 My Princeton painting classes took me to museums, to Philip Guston’s cadmium red, ivory black, and titanium white cigar-smoking Klansmen and John Currin’s skinny, huge breasted naked white women the color of supermarket peach flesh. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Old In Art School," 20 June 2018

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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Learn More about skinny

Phrases Related to skinny

the skinny

Statistics for skinny

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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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

: very thin or too thin


skin·ny | \ ˈski-nē \
skinnier; skinniest

Kids Definition of skinny

: very thin skinny legs

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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