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See Also: BODY
- Body … as meager as a pole —Leslie Thomas
- Lean and thin as a fallen leaf —George Garrett
- Lean as a bird dying in the snow —Émile Zola
- Lean as a herring —Irwin Shaw
- Lean as a shadow or ghost —George Garrett
- Lean as a snake —John Berryman
- Lean as a whipcord —Norman Mailer
- Lean as El Greco’s Saint Andres —Harry Prince
- Lean as the dead branch of a tree —Frank Swinnerton
- Lean as Ugulino —Dylan Thomas
The comparison refers to Count Ugolino of Pisa, imprisoned and starved to death in Dante’s Inferno.
- Leaner than wasps —Phyllis McGinley
McGinley’s comparison referred to the stone lions at the doors of the New York Hispanic Society building.
- Looked beaky and thin, like a bird —Mavis Gallant
- Looking as skinny and blue as a jailhouse tattoo —Tom Robbins
- Looks as if he’s been carved from a shadow —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- [A red line in the sky at dawn] narrow as a needle —John D. MacDonald
- Skinny as a fence post —George Garrett
- Slender as a flower’s stem —Arthur Sherburne Hardy
- Slim and evasive as a needle’s eye —Paige Mitchell
See Also: ELUSIVENESS
- Slim as a cat —Sue Grafton
- Slim as a little serpent —Anton Chekhov
- Slim as a mast —Geoffrey Chaucer
- Slim … like a twig stripped of bark —John Updike
- So skinny he looked as though, if you shook him, his bones would sound like one of those Javanese musicians who play on coconut shells —Leslie Hanscomb, Newsday, September 11, 1986
The thin man so described is Frank Sinatra in his early days.
- So skinny he looked like he’d been pulled through a keyhole —Fred Allen
- So skinny you clack like a floating crap game when you walk down the street —Russell Baker
- So thin that he was like a clothed skeleton —Jean Rhys
- So thin that if you touch her back you can feel the ribs, like ridges on a roll-top desk —Leslie Garis, New York Times Magazine, February 8, 1987
The person thus described is author Joan Didion.
- (She remained) thin as a baseball contract —Norman Keifetz
- Thin and clear as green leaves in April —Elinor Wylie
- Thin and quiet as shadows —George Garrett
See Also: SILENCE
- Thin as a bean pole —Anon
- Thin as a cobweb —Jean Garrigue
- Thin as a dime —American colloquialism, attributed to New England
- Thin as a file —Reynolds Price
- Thin as a moonbeam —Max Apple
- Thin as an empty dress —Marge Piercy
- Thin as an exclamation mark —Anon
- Thin as an onion shoot —Gloria Norris
- Thin as a pauper’s wallet —Anon
- Thin as a pencil line —Mary Lee Settle
- Thin as a rail —American colloquialism, attributed to New England
- [A heron] thin as a safety pin —Susan Minot
- Thin as a scythe —Donald Justice
- Thin as a sheet (his mother came to him) —John Berryman
- Thin as a sheeted ghost —Stevie Smith
- Thin as a thread —William H. Hallhan
- Thin as a switch —Mark Helprin
- Thin as a thermometer —Albert L. Weeks
- Thin as a walking stick —Doris Grumback
- (The steering wheel is … ) thin as a whip —John Updike
- Thin as a whisper —Anon
- Thin as a wire —Raymond Chandler
- Thin as breath —Sharon Sheehe Stark
- Thin as chop-sticks —Rumer Godden
- [Partitions] thin as crackers —Tom Robbins
- Thin as linguini —Anon
- [Children] thin as little white-haired ghosts —Carson McCullers
- (The old man looked) thin as paper —Richard Ford
An extension made popular in New England is: “Thin as the paper on the wall.”
- Thin as pared soap —Sharon Olds
In the poem in which this appears, the simile is extended to include breasts “As opalescent as soap bubbles.”
- Thin as phantoms —Thomas Hardy
- (Her face, without make-up, was an oval of white that looked as) thin as porcelain —Paul Theroux
- [TV antennas] thin as skeletons —Italo Calvino
- Thin as tapers —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Thin as the edge of the moon —Stephen Vincent Benét
- Thin as the girl who didn’t have enough to her to itch —Anon
- Thin as the girl who swallowed the pit of an olive and was rushed to a maternity ward —Anon
- Thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death —Abraham Lincoln, October 13, 1852 speech
- Thin as the line between self-confidence and conceit —Anon
- Thin as the skin seaming a scar —Sylvia Plath
- Thin as tissue —H. E. Bates
- (Skin) thin as tracing paper —John Updike
- Thin … like a skeleton —Ann Petry
The following words can all be used to describe someone who has very little flesh on their body:
Thin is used to describe someone's appearance in a neutral way.
Lean, slender, slim, slight, spare, and trim are all used to show approval of someone's appearance. Slim is the commonest of these words. The others are used mainly in stories.
Bony, scrawny, and skinny are used to show disapproval.
If you say that someone is underweight, you mean that they are too thin, because they have not eaten enough or are ill. When they are very thin indeed, you can say that they are emaciated.
Lanky and willowy are used to say that someone is tall and thin. Lanky is a slightly humorous word. Willowy is used to show approval.
|Noun||1.||thinness - relatively small dimension through an object as opposed to its length or width; "the tenuity of a hair"; "the thinness of a rope"|
dimension - the magnitude of something in a particular direction (especially length or width or height)
thickness - the dimension through an object as opposed to its length or width
|2.||thinness - the property of having little body fat|
bodily property - an attribute of the body
boniness, bonyness, emaciation, gauntness, maceration - extreme leanness (usually caused by starvation or disease)
wiriness - the property of being lean and tough and sinewy
|3.||thinness - the property of being very narrow or thin; "he marvelled at the fineness of her hair"|
narrowness - the property of being narrow; having little width; "the narrowness of the road"
|4.||thinness - the property of being scanty or scattered; lacking denseness|
|5.||thinness - a consistency of low viscosity; "he disliked the thinness of the soup"|
consistency, eubstance, consistence, body - the property of holding together and retaining its shape; "wool has more body than rayon"; "when the dough has enough consistency it is ready to bake"
fluidity, fluidness, runniness, liquidity, liquidness - the property of flowing easily; "adding lead makes the alloy easier to cast because the melting point is reduced and the fluidity is increased"; "they believe that fluidity increases as the water gets warmer"
wateriness - the property of resembling the viscosity of water
thickness - resistance to flow