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[slen-der] /ˈslɛn dər/
adjective, slenderer, slenderest.
having a circumference that is small in proportion to the height or length:
a slender post.
thin or slight; light and graceful:
slender youths.
small in size, amount, extent, etc.; meager:
a slender income.
having little value, force, or justification:
slender prospects.
thin or weak, as sound.
Origin of slender
1300-50; Middle English slendre, sclendre < ?
Related forms
slenderly, adverb
slenderness, noun
unslender, adjective
2. Slender, slight, slim imply a tendency toward thinness. As applied to the human body, slender implies a generally attractive and pleasing thinness: slender hands. Slight often adds the idea of frailness to that of thinness: a slight, almost fragile, figure. Slim implies a lithe or delicate thinness: a slim and athletic figure. 4. trivial, trifling. 5. fragile, feeble, fine, delicate, flimsy.
2. fat, stocky. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for slender
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In my opinion, and most certainly in his own, these pretensions were but slender.

  • Strange, by what slender threads our lives are knitted to each other!

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • He held on grimly, crushing the life out of the slender writhing form until it ceased to quiver and throb, and hung limp.

    Lives of the Fur Folk M. D. Haviland
  • The Road-Runner balanced on his slender legs and cocked his head trailwise.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • Still she was a slender, fragile little creature, and you saw that the rude winds of life had swept too early over her.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for slender


of small width relative to length or height
(esp of a person's figure) slim and well-formed
small or inadequate in amount, size, etc: slender resources
(of hopes, etc) having little foundation; feeble
very small: a slender margin
(of a sound) lacking volume
(phonetics) (now only in Irish phonology) relating to or denoting a close front vowel, such as i or e
Derived Forms
slenderly, adverb
slenderness, noun
Word Origin
C14 slendre, of unknown origin
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 slender

c.1400, earlier sclendre (late 14c.), probably from a French source, often said to be from Old French esclendre "thin, slender," which could be from Old Dutch slinder, but the connections, and even the existence of these words, is doubtful. Related: Slenderly; slenderness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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