Etymology: Middle English thinne, from Old English thynne; akin to Old High German dunni thin, Latin tenuis thin, tenēre to hold, tendere to stretch, Greek teinein
Date: before 12th century
a. having little extent from one surface to its opposite <thin paper> b. measuring little in cross section or diameter <thin rope> 2. not dense in arrangement or distribution <thin hair> 3. not well fleshed ; lean 4. a. more fluid or rarefied than normal <thin air> b. having less than the usual number ; scanty <thin attendance> c. few in number ; scarce d. scantily supplied e. characterized by a paucity of bids or offerings <a thin market> 5. a. lacking substance or strength <thin broth> <a thin plot> b. of a soil infertile, poor 6. a. flimsy, unconvincing <a thin disguise> b. disappointingly poor or hard <had a thin time of it> 7. somewhat feeble, shrill, and lacking in resonance <a thin voice> 8. lacking in intensity or brilliance <thin light> 9. lacking sufficient photographic density or contrast • thinly adverb • thinness noun • thinnish adjective Synonyms: thin, slender, slim, slight, tenuous mean not thick, broad, abundant, or dense. thin implies comparatively little extension between surfaces or in diameter, or it may imply lack of substance, richness, or abundance <thin wire> <a thin soup>. slender implies leanness or spareness often with grace and good proportion <the slender legs of a Sheraton chair>. slim applies to slenderness that suggests fragility or scantiness <a slim volume of poetry> <a slim chance>. slight implies smallness as well as thinness <a slight build>. tenuous implies extreme thinness, sheerness, or lack of substance and firmness <a tenuous thread>. II. verb (thinned; thinning) Date: before 12th century transitive verb to make thin or thinner: a. to reduce in thickness or depth ; attenuate b. to make less dense or viscous c. dilute, weaken d. to cause to lose flesh <thinned by weeks of privation> e. to reduce in number or bulk intransitive verb 1. to become thin or thinner 2. to become weak III. adverb (thinner; thinnest) Date: 13th century in a thin manner ; thinly — used especially in combination <thin-clad> <thin-flowing>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.