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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for skinny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he approached a window you could see through his ribs, so skinny had he become.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • How can you ever love such a skinny homely thing as I am now!

    The Straw Eugene O'Neill
  • But he wished that he might lay hands on that kid brother of skinny's.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely
  • He clawed at the air with skinny fingers, and tried to speak.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • Terry, I always thought of you as being—sort of skinny, but you're as hard as nails.

    Terry Charles Goff Thomson
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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