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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for slenderness
Contemporary Examples
  • At least in theory Kagan could compensate somewhat for the slenderness of her academic resume through the quality of her work.

Historical Examples
  • The disinclination of old men to plant trees rests upon the slenderness of the chance that they will ever gather of the fruit.

    Dwarf Fruit Trees F. A. Waugh
  • He is dark and massive—a splendid foil for his wife's slenderness and fairness.

    Mistress Anne Temple Bailey
  • Hair combed in on the cheeks and high and back from the forehead will make more evident her slenderness.

  • Since then his slenderness has developed into plumpness and his hope into certitude.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • They had stolen some of his slenderness, and his hair was thin at the back.

    The Gay Cockade Temple Bailey
  • He was counting them, to prove the slenderness of his offence.

    The Creators May Sinclair
  • His slenderness was as strong as a tempered sword-blade, his quietness was trained power in repose.

    A Woman Named Smith Marie Conway Oemler
  • Its slenderness of body was remarkable, and the large head was long and lance-shaped.

    Extinct Monsters H. N. Hutchinson
  • A wide strip of white cotton fell from one shoulder, and half revealed the slenderness of her shapely form.

    Long Odds Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for slenderness


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 slenderness



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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