thin

adjective
\ ˈthin \
thinner; thinnest

Definition of thin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having little extent from one surface to its opposite thin paper
b : measuring little in cross section or diameter thin rope
2 : not dense in arrangement or distribution thin hair
3 : not well fleshed : lean
4a : more fluid or rarefied than normal thin air
b : having less than the usual number : scanty thin attendance
c : few in number : scarce
d : scantily supplied
e : characterized by a paucity of bids or offerings a thin market
5a : lacking substance or strength thin broth a thin plot
b of a soil : infertile, poor
6a : flimsy, unconvincing a thin disguise
b : disappointingly poor or hard had a thin time of it
7 : somewhat feeble, shrill, and lacking in resonance a thin voice
8 : lacking in intensity or brilliance thin light
9 : lacking sufficient photographic density or contrast
thin on the ground

thin

verb
thinned; thinning

Definition of thin (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make thin or thinner:
a : to reduce in thickness or depth : attenuate
b : to make less dense or viscous
c : dilute, weaken
d : to cause to lose flesh thinned by weeks of privation
e : to reduce in number or bulk

intransitive verb

1 : to become thin or thinner
2 : to become weak

thin

adverb
thinner; thinnest

Definition of thin (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a thin manner : thinly used especially in combination thin-cladthin-flowing

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Other Words from thin

Adjective

thinly adverb
thinness \ ˈthin-​nəs \ noun
thinnish \ ˈthi-​nish \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for thin

Synonyms: Adjective

bony (also boney), fatless, lean, lithe, skinny, slender, slim, spare, svelte

Synonyms: Verb

adulterate, cut, dilute, extend, lace, sophisticate, water down, weaken

Antonyms: Adjective

chubby, corpulent, fat, gross, obese, overweight, plump, portly, rotund, tubby

Antonyms: Verb

enrich, fortify, richen, strengthen

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Choose the Right Synonym for thin

Adjective

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 thin in a Sentence

Adjective

a thin coating of dust pizza with a thin crust a thin slice of ham a thin stand of trees

Verb

He added a little more water to thin the gravy. The haze thinned in the late afternoon. His face has been thinned by illness.

Adverb

She sliced the cheese thin.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Vans’ case relies on pretty thin trademark protections for fashion There’s plenty of precedent for trademark infringement lawsuits in fashion. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Can Vans really sue Target for a cheap look-alike of its most famous skater shoe?," 26 Dec. 2018 Immediately after having a baby is not the best time to spread yourself too thin. Marie Tillman, Marie Claire, "Why I Started My Business While on Maternity Leave," 13 Dec. 2018 And the problem is is the atmosphere is much thinner than the atmosphere here on Earth. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018 Return pureed soup to clean pot, bring to brief simmer over medium heat and adjust consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have a thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred). Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "Fall into this Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe: creamy cauliflower soup," 16 Oct. 2018 The margins were similarly thin for Isner against Raonic, also a dominant server. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "At 33, John Isner Finds New Heights in the Wimbledon Semifinals," 11 July 2018 Fortunately, this theory suggests, the impact that formed the Moon helpfully drove off the volatile chemicals that formed the Earth’s original, Venus-like atmosphere, allowing a much thinner blanket of gases to form in its place. The Economist, "Empty sky, empty Earth?," 5 July 2018 Brazil's attackers are so good in small spaces, and the margin for error in the World Cup knockout stages is considerably thinner. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Why Jeff Greer sees Croatia facing Brazil in the World Cup 2018 final," 29 June 2018 Specifically, in this case, in the direction of St. George Island, a snake-thin barrier island just 4 miles offshore. Gully Wells, WSJ, "A Trip to the Florida of Yore," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After about an hour, the gun-rights rally ended and the crowd thinned. Hunter Woodall, kansascity, "Kobach tells national walkout students at gun-rights rally to stay in class | The Kansas City Star," 20 Apr. 2018 Real carbon banking would consist of thinning the trees and using the resultant product to build homes and other structures which create more permanent carbon banks. WSJ, "Bad Forest Management Robs Those Green Carbon Banks," 20 Aug. 2018 Decades ago, the number of osprey in the United States took a significant hit due to the use of the insecticide DDT, which thinned their eggshells. Eugene Register-guard, OregonLive.com, "Webcam at UO offers bird's-eye view of osprey nest," 5 May 2018 These come in packs of 28 active pills (no placebos) and deliver a steady dose of progestin to thicken your cervical mucus and thin your uterine lining. SELF, "Here’s Exactly How to Find the Best Birth Control Pill for You," 14 Sep. 2018 American women account for 40 percent of Americans struggling with hair thinning or loss. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Can Castor Oil Help Your Hair Grow? We Asked the Experts," 19 July 2018 Brazil’s presidential election race is quickly thinning and will ironically leave only seasoned politicians able to win a race marked by deep-seated, anti-establishment sentiment. Samy Adghirni, Bloomberg.com, "Goodbye, Outsiders: Brazil Election Field Set to Shrink Further," 14 May 2018 Downey, his hair thinned and cut close, still towers over his lawyers. David Owens, courant.com, "Judge Shaves Four Years Off Simsbury Man's 50-Year Sentence For Murder," 24 Apr. 2018 Macular degeneration is a common progressive eye condition, one that thins and breaks down a tissue behind the center of the retina. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "With Some Structure, Stem Cells Might Still Stop Vision Loss," 4 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, chicagotribune.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 12 July 2018 Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, chicagotribune.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 12 July 2018 Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, chicagotribune.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 12 July 2018 Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, chicagotribune.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 12 July 2018 Relievers Ryan Meisinger and Paul Fry will join the Orioles on Friday, according to an industry source, providing cover for a bullpen that's been stretched thin over the last week. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles to add relievers Ryan Meisinger, Paul Fry to bullpen," 29 June 2018 Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, chicagotribune.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 12 July 2018 Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, chicagotribune.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 12 July 2018 France’s army is stretched thin, distracted by commitments to its former colonies in Africa. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "America Pitches Its Potential Defense Plan for Europe," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thin.' 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 thin

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thin

Adjective

Middle English thinne, from Old English thynne; akin to Old High German dunni thin, Latin tenuis thin, tenēre to hold, tendere to stretch, Greek teinein

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Statistics for thin

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thin

The first known use of thin was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for thin

thin

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of thin

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a small distance between the top and bottom or front and back surfaces : not thick

: not having a lot of extra flesh on the body : not fat

: not growing closely together : not growing in a large amount

thin

verb

English Language Learners Definition of thin (Entry 2 of 3)

: to become less crowded, close together, or full

: to make (a liquid) less thick by adding water or some other liquid to it

of a person's hair : to become less thick as more hairs fall out over time

thin

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of thin (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a way that makes thin pieces, layers, etc.

thin

adjective
\ ˈthin \
thinner; thinnest

Kids Definition of thin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having little body fat
2 : having little size from one surface to its opposite : not thick a thin board
3 : having the parts not close together thin hair
4 : flowing very easily a thin soup
5 : having less than the usual number Attendance was thin.
6 : not very convincing a thin excuse
7 : somewhat weak or high a thin voice
8 : having less oxygen than normal thin air

Other Words from thin

thinly adverb
thinness noun

thin

verb
thinned; thinning

Kids Definition of thin (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become smaller in thickness or number The crowd was beginning to thin.

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More from Merriam-Webster on thin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thin

Spanish Central: Translation of thin

Nglish: Translation of thin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on thin

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to gather or build up little by little

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