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

fine, hairline, narrow, needlelike, paper-thin, slender, slim, slim-jim, thin, ultrathin

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Adjective

broad, fat, wide

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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

Elegant skinny strips of tube lights ran down the center of tables in lieu of candles; overhead a dazzling, dangly light fixture subtly shifted colors from red to blue to soft yellow, bathing the cavernous space in a rotating color. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Inside Pioneer Works's 6th Annual Village Fete," 5 May 2019 Meanwhile, more and more social media influencers were peddling skinny camouflage pants on Claire Gibson, Marie Claire, "Why My Relationship With Camo Print Is Messy," 29 Apr. 2019 Her day-to-day looks often include jeans, ranging from skinny to more relaxed fits. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Katie Holmes’s Radical Mom Jeans Are a Revelation," 22 Apr. 2019 Twenty-five-year-old Corinne was all smiles beside them wearing an all-black outfit with dark skinny jeans and ankle boots. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx Had a Rare PDA Moment on an Outing with His Daughter," 11 Apr. 2019 Corridor: Cerulean-blue linen button-up ($198); slightly faded herringbone khaki chinos ($195); a skinny, polka-dot, handmade-in-Brooklyn tie ($75). 2. Katy Schneider, The Cut, "16 Gift Ideas for Moms, Dads, and Discerning Grads," 29 Apr. 2018 There's a story from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's childhood that goes a long way toward explaining how a skinny, awkward boy would go on to become one of the best soccer players of his generation. Kevin Baxter,, "How a difficult childhood helped create Zlatan Ibrahimovic the soccer god," 8 Apr. 2018 Skinny Jeans + Big Sneakers The easiest way to play up your favorite pair of skinny jeans? Avery Matera, Glamour, "The Exact Shoes to Wear With Every Pair of Jeans You Own," 4 Apr. 2019 See the bright green corduroy suit; the angora vest and skinny red scarf; the A-line mini with the white patent knee boot. Vogue, "That Soft ’70s Style! Shop the Season’s Grooviest Trend," 1 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The skinny: JR Smith is averaging 10 points and 1.3 steals and shooting .410 from 3-point range in the playoffs., "Do the Celtics have or need an answer for LeBron James? Eastern Conference finals matchups and predictions," 11 May 2018 The skinny: Barbecue and country music go hand in hand in the summer. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this week: Southport Arts Festival, Chinatown Summer Fair, Rhythm World," 11 July 2018 The skinny: Mexico goes to Russia with the best team in its history, one thick with talent, experience and 13 players off the rosters of top European clubs. Kevin Baxter,, "Injuries leave questions for Germany, Mexico in World Cup Group F qualifying," 9 June 2018 Some are short, some are tall, some are skinny, some are voluptuous, everything. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "Sofía Vergara Just Launched a Denim Line in Sizes 0 through 20—and Everything Is $40 and Under," 6 Feb. 2019 Shop the look: Iro Ava Boots, $1,090 $763, Shopbop Here's a winter outfit formula that never, ever fails: a striped sweater plus light-wash skinny jeans plus black suede boots. Avery Matera, Glamour, "17 Ways to Wear Thigh-High Boots This Winter," 11 Jan. 2019 The skinny: Bryant played quarterback only as a senior, completing 218-of-312 passes for 3,121 yards with 29 touchdowns and only four interceptions., "Who's the best Mr. Football? Ranking all winners since award's inception in 1982," 14 Jan. 2018 Ensemble number two was similarly tux-inspired, but featured wide leg pants and an embellished skinny tie. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Billy Porter Slays in a Christian Siriano Tuxedo Dress on the Oscars Red Carpet," 24 Feb. 2019 When: July 6-8 Where: Near West Side How much: $10-$169 The skinny: Enjoy reggae, gospel, R&B, blues, jazz and rock music and browse some 200 vendors. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this week: Taste of Chicago, Millennium Art Festival, Live on Lincoln," 3 July 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

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on skinny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skinny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skinny

Spanish Central: Translation of skinny

Nglish: Translation of skinny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skinny for Arabic Speakers

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 strong desire or propensity

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