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skin·​ny ˈski-nē How to pronounce skinny (audio)
skinnier; skinniest
: resembling skin : membranous
: lacking sufficient flesh : very thin : emaciated
: lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities, or significance
of clothes : fitting very close to the body : very tight
skinny jeans
: made with skim milk
a skinny latte
skinniness noun


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: inside information : dope
the straight skinny on what's going onJohn Geary
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
Recent Examples on the Web
The 171-year-old company, led by CEO Michelle Gass, works towards taking the lead on trends in anything from skinny jeans to low-rise jeans to dad jeans to loose jeans, Singh said. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 16 July 2024 The super-stretch wide-leg jeans and jackets in the collection also help debunk the belief that Lycra is for skinny jeans only. Angela Velasquez, Sourcing Journal, 15 July 2024
As far as denim goes, Jenner is leaning into a roomier silhouette, but that doesn’t mean that skinnies are completely off the table. Alexis Bennett Parker, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2024 At Miu Miu—always one to watch—a strong case was made for return of the super skinny. Christina Holevas, Vogue, 12 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for skinny 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skinny.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



perhaps from skin entry 1 + -y entry 4

First Known Use


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1938, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skinny was circa 1541

Dictionary Entries Near skinny

Cite this Entry

“Skinny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


skinnier; skinniest
: resembling skin : membranous
a skinny layer
: very thin
skinniness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on skinny

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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