adjective, slen·der·er, slen·der·est.

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 formsslen·der·ly, adverbslen·der·ness, nounun·slen·der, adjective

Synonyms for slender

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.

Antonyms for slender

2. fat, stocky. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slender

Contemporary Examples of slender

Historical Examples of slender

  • Strange, by what slender threads our lives are knitted to each other!


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • The girl was rather short, but of a slender elegance of form that was ravishing.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • For slender purses there are cheap boats, cheap railways, and the omnibus.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • The Road-Runner balanced on his slender legs and cocked his head trailwise.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • She was small and slender, but no one had ever likened her to a flower.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for slender



of small width relative to length or height
(esp of a person's figure) slim and well-formed
small or inadequate in amount, size, etcslender resources
(of hopes, etc) having little foundation; feeble
very smalla 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 Formsslenderly, adverbslenderness, noun

Word Origin for slender

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

Word Origin and History for slender

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