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, 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

Layer skin-care products from thinnest to thickest in terms of texture. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 9 Best Skin-Care Tips I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Being a Beauty Editor," 13 July 2018 But a thinner tree canopy and the summer heat have presented a challenge, said director Steve Jacques. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Monkey Jungle has reopened. Here is what has happened since the animal-abuse allegations.," 12 July 2018 And Dwight Hammond’s wife, Susie, praised one person in particular, a thin man who stood by in black pants and a purple button-up shirt. New York Times, "How a Tycoon and Pence Friend Helped 2 Ranchers Get Pardons," 12 July 2018 In two weeks, this thin barley broth, called wort, will ferment into beer, be transferred to kegs, and poured from the taps on the other side of the cinder block wall. Lara Korte, WSJ, "New York Sees Boom in Craft Breweries, With More on Tap," 12 July 2018 This new three-part series documents wildlife in harsh environments, including the cold of the Arctic, the thin air of the Himalayas and the steamy jungles of South America. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "Wednesday's TV highlights: 'MasterChef' on Fox," 11 July 2018 What a comforting concept that if the air grows thin and the walls begin to close in, there is a place to go that is right and true and safe. Kristin Clark Taylor, Washington Post, "Thai soccer coach meditated with boys to calm them in the cave. We can all learn from them.," 11 July 2018 The royal’s discreet accessory, which comes in a variety of colors, is much thinner and almost impossible to detect. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton Just Got Caught Wearing a Hairnet Over Her Flawless Second-Day Updo," 10 July 2018 Rub butter into dry ingredients with your fingertips to create large, shaggy pieces of dough (the idea is to smash the butter into the flour, creating some pieces that are flat and thin and some that are large and irregular). Chris Morocco, Bon Appetit, "Fresh Fruit Tart with Almond Press-In Crust," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But as World Cup carnage unfolded and England’s half of the bracket thinned out, possibilities emerged. Brian Straus, SI.com, "England's Belief Manifests Itself in Elusive Penalty Triumph, World Cup Progression," 3 July 2018 As the ice retreated, thinned, and floated, this allowed warm ocean currents to slither in along the deep ocean floor. National Geographic, "The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Seems to Be Good at Collapsing," 13 June 2018 Two seats are available and three people are running, which means a primary election will be held on Feb. 20 to thin the field to two candidates for the April 3 general election. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa primary candidates discuss development, senior living and infrastructure," 6 Feb. 2018 So in progressively thinning air, more than three miles off the ground, Hess performed experiments to figure out if the particles came from above or below. Sophia Chen, WIRED, "What's a Blazar? A Galactic Bakery for Cosmic Rays," 12 July 2018 The other option is a humorous acknowledgment that not many in Mr Dershowitz’s thinning crowd of liberal friends and admirers are likely to be impressed by that. The Economist, "The case against impeachment," 12 July 2018 The quantum wave is a bit like a cloud hovering above the platform, dense near the platform where the neutron is likely to be and thin higher up. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Quantum measurements could power a tiny, hyper-efficient engine," 10 July 2018 As Dempsey points out, thinning morning traffic on the Tobin means not just better commutes for drivers, but more reliable buses, too. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "The MBTA isn’t making any friends with parking fee hikes," 23 June 2018 This isn't the first time that Moby has thinned out his musical collection. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Moby Is Selling His Full Record Collection For Charity," 12 June 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 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 Resources at many university counseling centers are stretched thin, forcing students to wait weeks for an appointment. Aneri Pattani, Philly.com, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 10 July 2018 The police department’s resources are already spread thin, Arnone said. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "Curbing Crime In Thompsonville: Civilians, Officials To Meet On Potential Block Watch," 9 July 2018 These flickers of insight are spread thin across a short, experimental novel, built with odd parts that never quite come together. Steph Cha, USA TODAY, "Amber Tamblyn takes on rape culture (with a daring twist) in debut novel, 'Any Man'," 26 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

20 Sep 2018

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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Comments on thin

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