thin1 W2S2 [θın] adj comparative thinner superlative thinnest
1¦(not thick)¦
2¦(not fat)¦
7¦(excuse/argument/evidence etc)¦
8 a thin margin/majority etc
11 the thin end of the wedge
12 be thin on the ground
13 be having a thin time (of it)
14 be (walking/treading/skating) on thin ice
15 disappear/vanish into thin air
16 out of thin air
[: Old English; Origin: thynne]
1.) ¦(NOT THICK)¦
if something is thin, there is only a small distance between its two opposite sides or surfaces
≠ ↑thick
a thin gold chain
She's only wearing a thin summer jacket (=a jacket made of light material) .
two thin slices of bread
The road was covered with a thin layer of ice.
The skin on the eyelids is the thinnest on the body.
paper/wafer thin
(=very thin)
Keep your voice down - the walls are paper thin.
2.) ¦(NOT FAT)¦
having little fat on your body
≠ ↑fat
He was tall and thin, with short brown hair.
thin arms/legs/lips etc
He has long thin hands.
Most high school girls say they want to be thinner.
3.) ¦(HAIR)¦
if someone has thin hair, they do not have a lot of hair
a thin straggly beard
His hair is quite thin on top.
4.) ¦(LIQUID)¦
a liquid that is thin flows very easily because it has a lot of water in it
≠ ↑thick
thin paint
5.) ¦(SMOKE/MIST)¦
smoke or mist that is thin is easy to see through
≠ ↑thick
The fog is quite thin in places.
6.) ¦(AIR)¦
air that is thin is more difficult to breathe than usual because it has less ↑oxygen in it
the thinner air high in the mountains
a thin excuse, argument, or evidence is not good or detailed enough to be useful or effective
Evidence that capital punishment deters crime is pretty thin.
8.) a thin margin/majority etc
a very small number or amount of something
Engle beat Blanchard by a razor-thin margin (=a very small number of votes) in the race for governor.
9.) ¦(SMILE)¦
a thin smile does not seem very happy or sincere
Charlie gave her a thin smile.
a thin voice or sound is high and unpleasant to listen to
His thin voice trailed off.
11.) the thin end of the wedge
BrE spoken an expression meaning something that you think is the beginning of a harmful development
Workers believe the job cuts are just the thin end of the wedge.
12.) be thin on the ground
if a particular type of person or thing is thin on the ground, there are very few available
Taxis seem to be thin on the ground.
13.) be having a thin time (of it)
BrE spoken to be in a difficult situation, especially one in which you do not have enough money
14.) be (walking/treading/skating) on thin ice
to be in a situation in which you are likely to upset someone or cause trouble
I was on thin ice, and I knew it.
15.) disappear/vanish into thin air
to disappear completely in a mysterious way
Victor and his kidnappers had vanished into thin air.
16.) out of thin air
out of nowhere, as if by magic
It seems like researchers have just pulled the numbers out of thin air.
→↑thinly,wear thin
>thinness n [U]
WORD CHOICE: thin, slim, skinny, slender, lean, slight
Thin is a general word meaning that someone has little fat on their body. It is usually, but not always, disapproving : He's much too thin. | Teenage girls all seem to want to be thin.
Slim means thin in an attractive way : her lovely slim figure
Skinny is a fairly informal word meaning very thin, which is usually disapproving : ridiculously skinny models
Slender , lean , and slight are used mostly in written English.
Slender means thin in an attractive and graceful way : long slender legs
Lean means thin and looking strong and fit : a tall, lean athlete
Slight means thin and delicate-looking : Her brother was very slight and looked younger than he was.
thin 2
thin2 adv
thinly. Many teachers think this is not correct English
Don't cut the bread so thin.
thin 3
thin3 v past tense and past participle thinned present participle thinning
1.) [I and T] also thin out
to become fewer in number, especially when there were many before, or to remove people, plants, or things so that fewer remain
The crowd had thinned out and only a few people were left.
The trees thinned as we got closer to the top of the mountain.
Traffic was finally thinning.
Thin the carrots to two inches apart.
Her hair had been thinned and cut shorter.
2.) [I and T]
to make something thinner or to become thinner
≠ ↑thicken
The clouds had begun to thin.
A narrow smile thinned his lips.
3.) [T] also thin down
to make a liquid weaker by adding water or another liquid
Thin the sauce by adding milk.
thin sth with sth
The pastels can be thinned with water.
4.) [I]
if someone's hair is thinning, they have less hair than they used to
a tall man with thinning hair
5.) thin the ranks
if something thins the ranks of a group of people, there are fewer of them as a result of it
Illness had thinned our ranks.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Thin — Thin, a. [Compar. {Thiner}; superl. {Thinest}.] [OE. thinne, thenne, thunne, AS. [thorn]ynne; akin to D. dun, G. d[ u]nn, OHG. dunni, Icel. [thorn]unnr, Sw. tunn, Dan. tynd, Gael. & Ir. tana, W. teneu, L. tenuis, Gr. ? (in comp.) stretched out, ? …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • thin — ► ADJECTIVE (thinner, thinnest) 1) having opposite surfaces or sides close together. 2) (of a garment or fabric) made of light material. 3) having little flesh or fat on the body. 4) having few parts or members relative to the area covered or… …   English terms dictionary

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  • thin — O.E. þynne narrow, lean, scanty, from P.Gmc. *thunnuz, *thunw (Cf. W.Fris. ten, M.L.G. dunne, Du. dun, O.H.G. dunni, Ger. dünn, O.N. þunnr), from PIE *tnus , *tnwi , from weak grade of root *ten stretch (Cf. L. tenuis …   Etymology dictionary

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