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[slim] /slɪm/
adjective, slimmer, slimmest.
slender, as in girth or form; slight in build or structure.
poor or inferior:
a slim chance; a slim excuse.
small or inconsiderable; meager; scanty:
a slim income.
sized for the thinner than average person.
verb (used with object), slimmed, slimming.
to make slim.
verb (used without object), slimmed, slimming.
to become slim.
Chiefly British. to try to become more slender, especially by dieting.
a garment size meant for a thin person.
Verb phrases
slim down,
  1. to lose weight, especially intentionally.
  2. (of a business) to reduce operating expenses; economize.
Origin of slim
1650-60; < Dutch slim sly, (earlier) crooked (cognate with German schlimm bad, (earlier) crooked)
Related forms
slimly, adverb
slimness, noun
unslim, adjective
unslimly, adverb
unslimness, noun
unslimmed, adjective
1. thin. See slender. 3. insignificant, trifling, trivial, paltry.
1. fat. 3. considerable; abundant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for slim
  • It will be wonderful in a few weeks, but as of now the pickings are slim.
  • The object at hand is silver and imperially slim, a fast and famous airplane.
  • Local blues radio programming-which thrived during the blues heyday-is slim to nonexistent.
  • The barnacle sheds a good portion of its body and, slim as a slug, slips into the hole at the base of one of the crab's hairs.
  • The chances that we'll trap and collar a lynx today are slim.
  • The collectors are separated by windows portraying a mansion, but connected by slim organs.
  • As to the other, unless he be caught red-handed, the chances that the police will ever get him are slim indeed.
  • When radiance came running down, slim through the bareness.
  • Emerging-market companies are obsessed by finding new markets to make up for their slim profit margins.
  • Barely five months later, the government's chances of imposing this draconian punishment look slim.
British Dictionary definitions for slim


adjective slimmer, slimmest
small in width relative to height or length
small in amount or quality: slim chances of success
verb slims, slimming, slimmed
to make or become slim, esp by diets and exercise
to reduce or decrease or cause to be reduced or decreased
See also slim down
Derived Forms
slimly, adverb
slimmer, noun
slimness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch: crafty, from Middle Dutch slimp slanting; compare Old High German slimbi obliquity


the E African name for AIDS
Word Origin
from its wasting effects


William Joseph, 1st Viscount. 1891–1970, British field marshal, who commanded (1943–45) the 14th Army in the reconquest of Burma (now called Myanmar) from the Japanese; governor general of Australia (1953–60)
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 slim

1650s, "thin, slight, slender," from Dutch slim "bad, sly, clever," from Middle Dutch slim "bad, crooked," from Proto-Germanic *slembaz "oblique, crooked" (cf. Middle High German slimp "slanting, awry," German schlimm "bad, cunning, unwell"). In English 17c. also sometimes with a sense "sly, cunning, crafty." Related: Slimly; slimness. With obsolete extended adjectival forms Slimsy "flimsy, unsubstantial" (1845); slimikin "small and slender" (1745). Slim Jim attested from 1887 in sense of "very thin person;" from 1902 as a type of slender cigar; from 1975 as a brand of meat snack.


1808, "to scamp one's work, do carelessly or superficially," from slim (adj.). Meaning "to make slim" (a garment, etc.) is from 1862; meaning "reduce (one's) weight" is from 1930. Related: Slimmed; slimming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for slim

slick up

verb phrase

To make neat and more attractive; furbish; gussy up: What are they all slicked up for? (1828+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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slim in Technology

A VLSI language for translating DFA's into circuits. J.L. Hennessy, "SLIM: A Simulation and Implementation Language for VLSI Microcode", Lambda, Apr 1981, pp.20-28.
[Jargon File]

A small, derivative change (e.g. to code).

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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