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

Examples of slender in a Sentence

She has a slender figure. a flower with a slender stem an animal with a long, slender snout
Recent Examples on the Web Kubiak will have to account for the smooth receiver being somewhat slender and more of a long-strider. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 June 2024 Cast in the pass-rushing role opposite him is Floyd, a ninth-year vet who looks slender but agile and impactful. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 25 May 2024 And a bunch of things started to change at the beginning of 20th century that made people want to be more slender. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 May 2024 With the future of her sport weighing on her slender shoulders? Mirjam Swanson, Orange County Register, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for slender 

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

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 20 Jun. 2024.

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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