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[skin-ee] /ˈskɪn i/
adjective, skinnier, skinniest.
very lean or thin; emaciated:
a skinny little kitten.
of or like skin.
unusually low or reduced; meager; minimal:
skinny profits.
(of an object) narrow or slender:
a skinny bed.
  1. accurate information; data; facts.
  2. news, especially if confidential; gossip:
    Here's the skinny on the latest Hollywood scandal.
Origin of skinny
1565-75; skin + -y1; def. 5 is unclearly derived and perhaps a distinct word
Related forms
skinniness, noun
1. lank, gaunt, scrawny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for skinny
  • Here's the summertime skinny-plus three more ski towns that look pretty great in shorts too.
  • His tales include skinny-dipping, nearly getting arrested and plenty of beer.
  • At the heliport there were no skinny forearms, apart from mine.
  • Unfortunately, the proteins in the frog's skinny legs would do the same thing.
  • But there the cops were, spending my money to chase down harmless skinny-dippers and dune-canoodlers.
  • He pretty much makes the same thing every time--some short, fitted jacked with some kind of frill on it and skinny pants.
  • They are painfully skinny, and their clothes are in tatters.
  • Which by itself would be neither interesting nor relevant if it weren't for all the skinny people around him.
  • And it is this deception that results in many frozen yogurt fanatics reaching for their sweats instead of skinny jeans.
  • We tell people that big is beautiful and worry about eating disorders and people thinking they're not skinny enough.
British Dictionary definitions for skinny


adjective -nier, -niest
lacking in flesh; thin
consisting of or resembling skin
Derived Forms
skinniness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for skinny

c.1400, "resembling skin," from skin (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "lean, emaciated" is recorded from c.1600. Of clothes, "tight-fitting" by 1970. In the noun sense of "the truth" it is World War II military slang, perhaps from the notion of the "naked" truth. Related: skinniness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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