Difference Between Thin, Slim and Skinny

Main Difference – Thin vs Slim vs Skinny

Thin, Slim and Skinny are three adjectives we often use when we are talking about the size of a person. These words are often used to describe people who have little, or too little flesh or fat on the body. Though these adjectives can be roughly used as synonyms, there are certain variations in their meanings. They are the antonyms of fat and thick. Thin means not having a lot of extra flesh on the body; this is the opposite of fat. Slim means being gracefully thin whereas skinny means being unattractively thin. This is the main difference between thin, slim and skinny.

Thin – Meaning and Usage

When we use the adjective thin to describe an individual, it means that the said individual is having little, or too little, flesh or fat on the body. This is essentially similar to lean and opposite of fat. It is not considered to be derogatory to call someone thin. But neither it is complimentary. It can be considered as a neutral term.Difference Between Thin, Slim and Skinny


Slim – Meaning and Usage

Slim is also a synonym of thin, but, unlike skinny, slim means to be thin in an attractive way. The Oxford Dictionary defines slim as gracefully thin. Slim is closer to the term slender. So, slim is always a complimentary adjective, and many women would find it pleasant to be described as slim. Slim is the ideal body size desired by many girls. It is interesting to note that the term slim is exclusively used to describe women.

Now that we have discussed the meanings of all three adjectives let us look at the usage of Thin, Slim and Skinny by looking at the following sentences.

All the models were slim and tall.

I saw a thin, bearded guy near her car.

The skinny boy reeked of fish.

He was as thin as a rake.

She was so skinny that her mother took her to a doctor.

The slim girl walked gracefully across the room.

The tall, thin girl wearing the green dress waved at me.

She started a diet to get a slim figure but ended up with a skinny figure.Main Difference -Thin, Slim and Skinny

Skinny – Meaning and Usage

Skinny is also similar to thin, but the meaning of skinny is negative. Skinny means thin in an unattractive way. Skinny can also mean thinner than thin: very thin. This is closer to terms like gaunt and emaciated. This term implies a certain unhealthiness as well. Skinny can also refer to someone underweight. This adjective should be used very carefully as some people would find being described as skinny offensive.

Difference Between Thin, Slim and Skinny


Thin means not having a lot of extra flesh on the body.

Slim means being gracefully thin.

Skinny means being unattractively thin.

Type of term

Thin is a neutral term.

Slim has a positive connotation.

Skinny has a negative connotation.

Other Terms

Thin is the opposite of fat.

Slim is similar to slender.

Skinny is similar to gaunt.

Image Courtesy:

“Diane von Fürstenberg Spring-Summer 2014 25” by CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK from Chicago, USA – DVF ss14-25.  (CC BY 2.0) via Commons 

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