- 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.
- to make thin or thinner (often followed by down, out, etc.).
- to become thin or thinner; become reduced or diminished (often followed by down, out, off, etc.): The crowd is thinning out.
Origin of thin
SynonymsSee more synonyms for thin on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for thinning
Over his thinning dark hair and fleshy cheeks, he pulls a brown ski mask.The Stacks: The Searing Story of How Murder Stalked a Tiny New York Town
E. Jean Carroll
April 19, 2014
The fear is that thinning the blood further might promote more bleeding rather than decrease the risk of clot enlargement.Good News for Hillary Clinton’s Health
January 1, 2013
His hair is a thinning silver brillo pad, and his belly juts forward from beneath his suit jacket.Elias Khoury: Profile of the Essential Arab Novelist Today
August 3, 2012
Behind-the-scenes strong-arming is the traditional means of thinning the herd.No Clear Path to Victory for Romney
John Avlon, Ben Jacobs
March 7, 2012
In the letter, Boxer cited the leak, as well as the unexpected wear and thinning of the steam-generator tubes.Latest Accident at San Onofre Nuclear Plant Worries Activists, Residents
February 13, 2012
She had a faded, washed-out look, and her hair was thinning out.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
“They are there,” said I, surveying from my vantage-ground the thinning ranks.The First Violin
The timber was being neglected, there was no thinning and no planting.The Nebuly Coat
John Meade Falkner
Pruning a tree is a way of thinning the fruit and a good one.Apple Growing
M. C. Burritt
The bank deposits were thinning, and the vein was thinning with it.The Cross-Cut
Courtney Ryley Cooper
- of relatively small extent from one side or surface to the other; fine or narrow
- slim or lean
- sparsely placed; meagrethin hair
- of relatively low density or viscositya thin liquid
- weak; poor; insufficienta thin disguise
- (of a photographic negative) having low density, usually insufficient to produce a satisfactory positive
- mountaineering a climb or pitch on which the holds are few and small
- thin on the ground few in number; scarce
- in order to produce something thinto cut bread thin
- to make or become thin or sparse
Word Origin and History for thinning
Old English þynne "narrow, lean, scanty," from Proto-Germanic *thunnuz, *thunw- (cf. West Frisian ten, Middle Low German dunne, Dutch dun, Old High German dunni, German dünn, Old Norse þunnr), from PIE *tnus-, *tnwi-, from weak grade of root *ten- "stretch" (cf. Latin 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]
Thin-skinned is attested from 1590s; the figurative sense of "touchy" is from 1670s.
Old English þynnian "to make thin" (cf. German dünnen, Dutch dunnen), from thin (adj.). Intransitive sense of "to become less numerous" is attested from 1743; that of "to become thinner" is recorded from 1804. Related: Thinned; thinning.
Idioms and Phrases with thinning
In addition to the idioms beginning with thin
- thin as a rail
- thin edge of the wedge
- thing or two
- things are looking up
- thin on top
- into thin air
- on thin ice
- spread oneself too thin
- through thick and thin
- wear thin