[ skin-ee ]
/ ˈskɪn i /

adjective, skin·ni·er, skin·ni·est.

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.

Nearby words

  1. skinner, b. f.,
  2. skinner, burrhus frederic,
  3. skinner, otis,
  4. skinnerian,
  5. skinnery,
  6. skinny-dip,
  7. skinny-dipping,
  8. skint,
  9. skintight,
  10. skip

Origin of skinny

1565–75; skin + -y1; def. 5 is unclearly derived and perhaps a distinct word

Related formsskin·ni·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skinny

British Dictionary definitions for skinny


/ (ˈskɪnɪ) /

adjective -nier or -niest

lacking in flesh; thin
consisting of or resembling skin
Derived Formsskinniness, 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

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