Definitions

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

  • adj. Having little width in proportion to height or length; long and thin: a slender rod.
  • adj. Thin and delicate in build; gracefully slim: "She was slender as a willow shoot is slender—and equally graceful, equally erect” ( Frank Norris).
  • adj. Small in amount or extent; meager: slender wages; a slender chance of survival.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Thin; slim.
  • adj. palatalized

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Small or narrow in proportion to the length or the height; not thick; slim.
  • adj. Weak; feeble; not strong; slight.
  • adj. Moderate; trivial; inconsiderable; slight.
  • adj. Small; inadequate; meager; pitiful.
  • adj. Spare; abstemious; frugal.
  • adj. Uttered with a thin tone; -- the opposite of broad.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Small in width or diameter as compared with the length; slim; thin: as, a slender stem or stalk; a slender waist.
  • In zoology, gracile; tenuous; attenuated: specifically noting various animals and some parts of animals.
  • Weak; feeble; slight; lacking body or strength: as, a slender frame or constitution; slender hopes; slender comfort.
  • Meager; small; scant; inadequate: as, slender means; slender alms.
  • Moderate; inconsiderable; trivial.
  • Not amply supplied.
  • In phonography, the opposite of broad or open. Thus, ē and ī are slender vowels.
  • Synonyms Fragile, flimsy, frail.
  • Scanty, sparing, lean.

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

  • adj. small in quantity
  • adj. very narrow
  • adj. being of delicate or slender build
  • adj. having little width in proportion to the length or height
  • adj. moving and bending with ease

Etymologies

Middle English sclendre, slendre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English slendre, sclendre, from Old French esclendre ("thin, slender"), from Old Dutch slinder ("thin, lank"), from Proto-Germanic *slindraz (“sliding, slippery”), from Proto-Indo-European *sleidh- (“to slip”). Cognate with Bavarian Schlenderling ("that which dangles"), German schlendern ("to saunter, stroll"), Dutch slidderen, slinderen ("to wriggle, creep like a serpent"), Low German slindern ("to slide on ice"). More at slide, slither. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Miss Drexel, seized by inspiration or desperation, with a quick movement stripped off her short, corduroy tramping-skirt, and, looking very lithe and boyish in slender-cut pongee bloomers, ran along the sand and dropped the skirt for a foothold for the slowly revolving wheels.

    WHOSE BUSINESS IS TO LIVE

  • Cute little girls frozen forever in slender bodies.

    John Joseph Adams » 2009 » August

  • At one point Miss Drexel "seized by inspiration or desperation, with a quick movement stripped off her short, corduroy tramping-skirt, and, looking very lithe and boyish in slender-cut pongee bloomers," throws the skirt under the wheels to give the machine's wheels purchase.

    “It was the Golden Fleece ready for the shearing.”

  • It's horrible that we must sometimes be reminded how slender is the thread that holds our lives together.

    Kindertotenlieder

  • Diclofenac has lead to global population declines as high as 99 percent in slender-billed and other vulture species.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • I was buying and enjoying these diet sodas that were packaged in slender cans.

    Where are my diet drinks?

  • The Azzurri's esteemed defense is well-known for its ability to maintain slender leads.

    World Cup Soccer - Italy vs. South Korea

  • By its terms his slender fortune was placed in the hands of a trust and investment company, who were constituted the boy's guardians, and enjoined to give their ward a liberal education along such lines as he himself might choose.

    Under the Great Bear

  • – On many of the sugar maples the long flowers are hanging in slender green clusters, while on others they have not yet come out; and year after year we find the same difference between various individuals of the same species of maple, more marked, it would seem, among these than with other trees.

    Rural Hours

  • At his call a slender, graceful woman who was gazing in anxiety and dismay from the opposite side of the cab and pleading with the driver not to beat his horse, turned suddenly, and a pair of lovely dark eyes lighted up at sight of his face.

    Waring's Peril

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