1 [thin-er]
a volatile liquid, as turpentine, used to dilute paint, varnish, rubber cement, etc., to the desired or proper consistency.
a person who adds thinners to paints, varnishes, etc.
a person who specializes in weeding plants, pruning shrubbery, thinning fruit, etc.

1825–35; thin + -er1 Unabridged


2 [thin-er]
comparative of thin.


adjective, thinner, thinnest.
having relatively little extent from one surface or side to the opposite; not thick: thin ice.
of small cross section in comparison with the length; slender: a thin wire.
having little flesh; spare; lean: a thin man.
composed of or containing objects, particles, etc., widely separated; sparse: thin vegetation.
scant; not abundant or plentiful.
of relatively slight consistency or viscosity: thin soup.
rarefied, as air.
without solidity or substance; flimsy: a very thin plot for such a long book.
lacking fullness or volume; weak and shrill: a thin voice.
without force or a sincere effort: a thin smile.
lacking body, richness, or strength: a thin wine.
lacking in chroma; of light tint.
Photography. (of a developed negative) lacking in density or contrast through underdevelopment or underexposure.
in a thin manner.
sparsely; not densely.
so as to produce something thin: Slice the ham thin.
verb (used with object), thinned, thinning.
to make thin or thinner (often followed by down, out, etc.).
verb (used without object), thinned, thinning.
to become thin or thinner; become reduced or diminished (often followed by down, out, off, etc.): The crowd is thinning out.

before 900; (adj. and adv.) Middle English thyn(ne), Old English thynne; cognate with Dutch dun, German dünn, Old Norse thunnr; (v.) Middle English thynnen, Old English thynnian, derivative of the adj.; compare Middle Dutch dunnen, Old Norse thynna; akin to Old Irish tana, Latin tenuis thin, Greek tany- long

thinly, adverb
thinness, noun
overthin, adjective
overthinly, adverb
overthinness, noun
self-thinning, adjective
superthin, adjective
unthinned, adjective
unthinning, adjective

3. slim, slender, skinny, lank, scrawny. Thin, gaunt, lean, spare agree in referring to one having little flesh. Thin applies often to one in an unnaturally reduced state, as from sickness, overwork, lack of food, or the like: a thin, dirty little waif. Gaunt suggests the angularity of bones prominently displayed in a thin face and body: to look ill and gaunt. Lean usually applies to a person or animal that is naturally thin: looking lean but healthy after an outdoor vacation. Spare implies a muscular leanness with no diminution of vitality: Lincoln was spare in body. 5. meager. 8. weak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To thinner
World English Dictionary
thin (θɪn)
adj , thinner, thinnest
1.  of relatively small extent from one side or surface to the other; fine or narrow
2.  slim or lean
3.  sparsely placed; meagre: thin hair
4.  of relatively low density or viscosity: a thin liquid
5.  weak; poor; insufficient: a thin disguise
6.  (of a photographic negative) having low density, usually insufficient to produce a satisfactory positive
7.  mountaineering a climb or pitch on which the holds are few and small
8.  thin on the ground few in number; scarce
9.  in order to produce something thin: to cut bread thin
vb , thinner, thinnest, thins, thinning, thinned
10.  to make or become thin or sparse
[Old English thynne; related to Old Frisian thenne, Old Saxon, Old High German thunni, Old Norse thunnr, Latin tenuis thin, Greek teinein to stretch]

thinner (ˈθɪnə)
(often plural, functioning as singular) a solvent, such as turpentine, added to paint or varnish to dilute it, reduce its opacity or viscosity, or increase its penetration into the ground

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. þynne "narrow, lean, scanty," from P.Gmc. *thunnuz, *thunw- (cf. W.Fris. ten, M.L.G. dunne, Du. dun, O.H.G. dunni, Ger. dünn, O.N. þunnr), from PIE *tnus-, *tnwi-, from weak grade of base *ten- "stretch" (cf. L. tenuis "thin, slender;" see tenet).
"These our actors ... were all Spirits, and Are melted into Ayre, into thin Ayre." [Shakespeare, "The Tempest," IV.i.150, 1610]
The verb is from O.E. þynnian "to make thin" (cf. Ger. dünnen, Du. dunnen); intrans. sense of "to become less numerous" is attested from 1743; that of "to become thinner" is recorded from 1804. Thin-skinned is attested from 1598; the fig. sense of "touchy" is from 1680.

liquid used to dilute paint, ink, etc., 1904, from thin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences for thinner
Besides having a crystal on its hilt, it was thinner and lighter than a broadsword.
Slicers in other countries are smaller and have a thinner, more delicate skin.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature