Synonyms & Antonyms of skinny

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 being of less than usual width
  • the tree swing was supported only by a couple of skinny branches

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2 having a noticeably small amount of body fat
  • her grandmother was always insisting that she was too skinny and never tired of trying to force more food on her

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Synonyms & Antonyms of skinny (Entry 2 of 2)

information not generally available to the public
  • a TV show that offers all the skinny on Tinseltown and the stars that light it up

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Frequently Asked Questions About skinny

How does the adjective skinny contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of skinny are gaunt, lanky, lank, lean, rawboned, scrawny, and spare. While all these words mean "thin because of an absence of excess flesh," scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality.

a scrawny chicken

skinny street urchins

When is gaunt a more appropriate choice than skinny?

The meanings of gaunt and skinny largely overlap; however, gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering.

a prisoner's gaunt face

When is it sensible to use lank instead of skinny?

While the synonyms lank and skinny are close in meaning, lank implies tallness as well as leanness.

the lank legs of the heron

Where would lanky be a reasonable alternative to skinny?

In some situations, the words lanky and skinny are roughly equivalent. However, lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness.

a lanky youth, all arms and legs

When can lean be used instead of skinny?

While in some cases nearly identical to skinny, lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours.

a lean racehorse

When might rawboned be a better fit than skinny?

The synonyms rawboned and skinny are sometimes interchangeable, but rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment.

a rawboned farmer

When could spare be used to replace skinny?

The words spare and skinny are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise.

the gymnast's spare figure

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Time Traveler for skinny

Time Traveler

The first known use of skinny was circa 1541

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Cite this Entry

“Skinny.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on skinny

Nglish: Translation of skinny for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skinny for Arabic Speakers


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