slen·​der ˈslen-dər How to pronounce slender (audio)
: spare in frame or flesh
especially : gracefully slight
: small or narrow in circumference or width in proportion to length or height
: limited or inadequate in amount or scope : meager
people of slender means
slenderly adverb
slenderness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for slender

thin, slender, slim, slight, tenuous mean not thick, broad, abundant, or dense.

thin implies comparatively little extension between surfaces or in diameter, or it may imply lack of substance, richness, or abundance.

thin wire
a thin soup

slender implies leanness or spareness often with grace and good proportion.

the slender legs of a Sheraton chair

slim applies to slenderness that suggests fragility or scantiness.

a slim volume of poetry
a slim chance

slight implies smallness as well as thinness.

a slight build

tenuous implies extreme thinness, sheerness, or lack of substance and firmness.

a tenuous thread

Example Sentences

She has a slender figure. a flower with a slender stem an animal with a long, slender snout
Recent Examples on the Web Here, German-Danish designer Gesa Hansen has created a whimsical melange of texture: brick walls, leather banquettes, playful carpeting, abstract wallpaper, slender mid-century wood chairs, and mix-and-match tilework. Chadner Navarro, Vogue, 28 Nov. 2022 Others are pre-lit and have slender figures with crystal tips. Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 21 Nov. 2022 In Tuesday's voting, county residents continued that trend, adding two more commissioner seats to the existing slender Democratic majority rule on the county board. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 9 Nov. 2022 Spider silk is less than one thousandth of an inch in diameter, but inside that slender strand there is a bundle of protein fibers within a protective shell. Helen Czerski, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 The Fiskars 8-Inch Shrub Rake is a slender little rake that’s great for moving in and out of tight places. Gabriel Morgan, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Oct. 2022 Cusk—who, at 55, is tall and slender, with straight brown hair that falls to her shoulders—answered the door wearing slim-cut denim and chunky white sneakers. Thomas Chatterton Williams, The Atlantic, 24 Oct. 2022 Daemon’s daughter Baela (Bethany Antonia) rides a slender green dragon named Moondancer. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 24 Oct. 2022 The slender applicator helps with the length effect by creating definition between lashes rather than a fuller clumpy look. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 20 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English sclendre, slendre, from Anglo-French esclendre

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of slender was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near slender

Cite this Entry

“Slender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



slen·​der ˈslen-dər How to pronounce slender (audio)
: limited or not enough in amount : meager
a slender income
slenderly adverb
slenderness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on slender

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