Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Gaunt and bony. See Synonyms at lean2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Thin, malnourished and weak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Meager; thin; rawboned; bony; scranny.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Meager; wasted; raw-boned; lean: as, a scrawny person; scrawny hens.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. being very thin
  • adj. inferior in size or quality

Etymologies

Alteration of dialectal scranny, possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian skran, lean.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from Old Norse skrælna ("to be shrivelled"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Governor Schwarzenegger saying he would help Barack Obama work on what he called his scrawny legs and also his skinny biceps as well.

    CNN Transcript Oct 31, 2008

  • After kicking, cursing and fighting for her life, her fingers were pried off the wheel by the men, whom she described as scrawny but determined as ever to take her car.

    News from www.rep-am.com

  • Because I looked like somebody who might actually have athletic ability - I've never been what you'd call "scrawny" - I was among the first picked for a team.

    Vonnegut's Asshole

  • Parween was tiny; her brothers even called her scrawny.

    Lipstick in Afghanistan

  • The gene -- called scrawny because of the appearance of mutant adult flies -- appears to be a key factor in keeping a variety of stem cells in their undifferentiated state, the researchers at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology say in an article to be published Friday in the journal Science.

    Earth News, Earth Science, Energy Technology, Environment News

  • Schwarzenegger stirred a little controversy when he called Obama "scrawny" during the presidential primaries, but, ironically, it was the Governor who couldn't do the heavy lifting that real change in health care requires.

    Jamie Court: What Obama Can Learn from Arnold

  • The moderate Republican Schwarzenegger had criticized Obama in his only appearance of the general election campaign with John McCain - the Friday before the election in Columbus, Ohio, site of Schwarzenegger's annual Arnold Classic sports festival - as "scrawny" and a big taxer.

    William Bradley: Obama's California: The Arnold Alliance and More

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, apparently filling in for "Joe the Plumber," told a John McCain rally in Columbus, Ohio, this afternoon that Obama has "scrawny" legs, among other things.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Obama at Wicker Park - Gary, Indiana

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, apparently filling in for 'Joe the Plumber,' told a John McCain rally in Columbus, Ohio, this afternoon that Obama has 'scrawny' legs, among other things.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Obama at Wicker Park - Gary, Indiana

  • The "scrawny" ones Brian and Melissa are asking about are just calves, this year's young.

    grouse Diary Entry

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.