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

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Adjective

chubby, corpulent, fat, gross, 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

Start with a tall, skinny box that extends from your shoulders to just above your knees. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "4 Great Halloween Costumes From the PM Archives," 11 Oct. 2018 Ponytail Palm This Southeastern Mexican beauty gets its name from skinny leaves coming from a thick stalk shape. Collier Sutter, House Beautiful, "11 Houseplants You Barely Have To Water—Ever," 3 Oct. 2018 The sun rising outside your window illuminates an elephant tottering down the street, its legs impossibly skinny stilts a hundred feet tall. Devin Powell, Discover Magazine, "Shape Shifters," 28 Sep. 2018 The underseasoned meat and the lack of punchy pickles are the likely culprits here, though the peppery side of skinny fries slightly makes up for it. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Restaurant Review: Detroit's Empire Kitchen & Cocktails has no clothes," 12 July 2018 Erotic model and sexologist claims nude jogging and skinny-dipping in cold water is key to looking young. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Austin, Texas serial bombing suspect reportedly dead; Trump jabs 'Pelosi Dems'," 21 Mar. 2018 The same actress subsequently performed in an indie film Coleman directed that included a skinny-dipping scene. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Once Upon a Time' Actor Michael Coleman Responds to Sexual Harassment Claims Against Him," 9 Mar. 2018 Blame the Onyx River for ruining Antarctic skinny-dipping. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Not-So-Winding Ways of Antarctica’s Longest River," 12 Feb. 2018 McCain walks up to the desk, puts his thumb down, and votes 'no' on the skinny repeal. Graham Vyse, The New Republic, "How the Washington Press Fell in Love With John McCain," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At its most basic level, mid-century modern designs are known for juxtaposing sleek lines (think: skinny, peg legs on dressers and tables) with organic shapes, using new materials and methods to reimagine traditional pieces. Hillary Brown, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Mid-Century Modern Design," 13 Sep. 2018 Just one more thing for the poor batter to think about while attempting to concentrate on squarely hitting a tiny, spinning baseball with a skinny, round bat. Jeff Miller,, "Angels catcher Martin Maldonado is a master class on defense," 23 Mar. 2018 In both, Quinn knits together more explicitly disjunctive parts — one arm skinny in Superman blue opposite another, beefy and bare, for instance. Leah Ollman,, "Like song sampling as painting: Nathaniel Mary Quinn's puzzle-like portraits of personhood," 6 June 2018 The skinny: Savor the tastes of over 150 Illinois craft beers while partaking in a variety of tapping and sampling events in Chicago and around the state. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this week: Memorial Day Parade, Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest, Bike the Drive," 23 May 2018 The new moon is March 17, so catch the skinny, young crescent moon near the planetary pair on March 18 before the fleet Mercury slides from view days later. Blaine P. Friedlander Jr., Washington Post, "Skywatch: In March, planets loiter together in the evening and morning heavens," 24 Feb. 2018 Director Lorna Tucker attempts to give us the skinny on what makes the spiky-haired designer tick. Elizabeth Wellington,, "This Vivienne Westwood documentary details how the designer built a killer brand on her own potty-mouthed terms," 28 June 2018 The exaggerated proportion was miles away from the skinny and reworked-vintage jean silhouettes that defined Hadid’s generation. Maria Ward, Vogue, "Cher or Neo? Bella Hadid Channels Both ’90s Fashion Icons In One Look," 29 Mar. 2018 Give us the skinny on the history of chicken and waffles. Debbi Snook,, "'Soul Food Scholar' Adrian Miller celebrates African-Americans who cooked for our presidents (photos, recipes))," 7 Feb. 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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Statistics for skinny

Last Updated

17 Nov 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).


a private place of worship

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