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

Other Words from skinny


skinniness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for skinny

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There’s nothing very fresh about watching Jodie strain to zip up her skinny jeans, for example, no matter how gamely Goodwin throws herself into the character’s frustration. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Jan. 2022 Just like there were dangers in having just enough life rafts on the Titanic or wearing skinny jeans all the time. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 Millennial rage-bait videos first popped up on TikTok when users criticized skinny jeans and side parts. NBC News, 23 Dec. 2021 An avid skateboarder, Austin Kershaw sees JNCOs as a roomier alternative to the skinny jeans most of his peers wear. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2021 While a sharp blazer over skinny ankle-zip pants is always safe, how about leaning into something sexier? Monica Mendal, Vogue, 22 Dec. 2021 And skinny bundle Hulu Plus Live TV now includes both Disney Plus and ESPN Plus alongside a recent $5 per month price hike. David Bloom, Forbes, 22 Dec. 2021 The brand’s renaissance is a reaction to the skinny jean overload of the past two decades. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2021 Emma made a couple of skinny tamales and listened quietly. Elaine Ayala Commentary, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Made from durable black leather and elastic, tuck in your favorite black skinny jeans. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The Pillar reported that three former seminarians accused Cosgrove of pressuring them into skinny-dipping with him. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, 27 Dec. 2021 Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker and others made these young musicians’ hearts go pitter-patter, including a skinny, outrageously talented guitarist named Jimmy Page. Chris Vognar, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2021 The Pillar reported that three former seminarians accused Cosgrove of pressuring them into skinny-dipping with him. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, 28 Oct. 2021 Barkley said the Scout leader took him and 10 or 11 other boys on outings to increasingly remote locations and eventually directed them to go skinny-dipping. Tess Vrbin, Arkansas Online, 20 Oct. 2021 The skinny: Correa’s age and defensive abilities are big selling points. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 13 Sep. 2021 The skinny: Winner earns the second seed from Region 1 behind Saraland (6-0) and a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Ben Thomas |, al, 19 Oct. 2021 Straight-leg, skinny, and boyfriend jeans are mainstay silhouettes in most denim wardrobes. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 2 July 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.

See More

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

Learn More About skinny

Time Traveler for skinny

Time Traveler

The first known use of skinny was circa 1541

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near skinny

skinning loam



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for skinny

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Skinny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for skinny



English Language Learners Definition of skinny

: very thin or too thin


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

Kids Definition of skinny

: very thin skinny legs

More from Merriam-Webster on skinny

Nglish: Translation of skinny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skinny for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!