Definition of slim in English:

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Pronunciation: /slɪm/

adjective (slimmer, slimmest)

1(Of a person or their build) gracefully thin; slender: her slim figure the girls were tall and slim
More example sentences
  • He was slim to medium build, with cropped, mousy brown hair and spoke with a local accent.
  • He was slim and strong, built like a rapier and just as fast.
  • His skin was very pale and he was slim and not built up at all.
slender, lean, willowy, sylphlike, svelte, lissom, graceful, snake-hipped, rangy, clean-limbed, trim, slight, slightly built;
thin, as thin as a reed, skinny, size-zero, spare, attenuated, lanky, spindly
rare gracile, attenuate
1.1(Of a thing) small in width and typically long and narrow in shape: a slim gold band encircled her wrist
More example sentences
  • It's gold and has a slim strap with a narrow oval face, which sparkles as if it had been sprinkled with extra fine glitter.
  • New recruits should opt for slim ties - narrow to medium-narrow width.
  • Manufacturer and retail catalogs also featured the guard or keeper ring, a plain slim gold band worn over the diamond ring to keep it in place.
narrow, slender, slimline
1.2(Of a garment) cut on slender lines; designed to make the wearer appear slim: a pair of slim, immaculately cut trousers
More example sentences
  • Fall's slim coat has a retro feel that works well with the season's more refined and polished looks.
  • Just so you know, slim suits look fine, but tight suits lean toward the tacky side. starching your shirt
  • His styles were luxurious, with credits to the 1950s in slim suits and dresses, and wide picture hats.
1.3(Of a business or other organization) reduced to a smaller size in the hope that it will become more efficient: companies will extract all possible productivity gains from their slimmer workforces before adding people
More example sentences
  • It's inevitable there will be some job losses and we're going to be a slimmer organisation but the changes will occur in phases.
  • We have not got a figure but we know at the end of the three years we will have to be a slimmer organisation.
2(Of something abstract, especially a chance or margin) very small: there was just a slim chance of success a slim majority of sixteen
More example sentences
  • She has a slim chance of success, yet the financial world is slowly replacing their faith in her appeal.
  • Giving birth seems like a fragile process, fraught with danger, with a slim chance of success - rather than a completely natural thing as it should be.
  • Most English Catholics were appalled by news of the plot, realizing the slim chance of success, and that failure would lead to further repression.
slight, small, slender, faint, feeble, poor, flimsy, tenuous, fragile, negligible, marginal, minimal;
outside, remote, distant, unlikely, improbable
3South African Crafty, sly, or unscrupulous.
Example sentences
  • That's all the mannetjie with the forked tail, bad breath and sulphur body odour is waiting for, slim sales talk.

verb (slims, slimming, slimmed)

[no object] British
1Make oneself thinner by dieting and sometimes exercising: if he’s overweight, he should slim (as noun slimming) an aid to slimming
More example sentences
  • With half of all Britons overweight, the government's plan to get us to slim down looks like a daunting task.
  • Although Gemma has been a keen supporter of strongman competitions since she was small, she only started training in a gym six months ago, in an attempt to slim down for her singing career.
  • A nutrition expert slammed the ‘lose weight’ order saying the pop world had gone mad if the girls had been told to slim down.
lose weight, get thinner, lose/shed some pounds, lose some inches, get into shape, shape up, reduce, diet, go on a diet;
North American  slenderize
1.1 [with object] Make (a person or part of the body) thinner by dieting or exercising: how can I slim down my hips?
More example sentences
  • His body was slimmed down for endurance, but he still had the muscles that bespoke several trips to the gym each week.
  • Pop culture glamorizes their muscular bodies but, at the same time, is more preoccupied than ever with slimming women down to an impossible ideal.
  • And the tiny straps of her stiletto heels slimmed her already perfect pins to the ideal.
1.2 [with object] Reduce (a business or other organization) to a smaller size in the hope of making it more efficient: restructuring and slimming down the organization
More example sentences
  • Some of the big news sites tried coping by slimming down the size of their pages and adding servers, but this helped only marginally.
  • Mrs Candler said books would remain important to the Discovery Centre, although the reference side might be slimmed down to reduce duplication.
  • Five boxes of business cards were slimmed down to three - two of mine, and one full of other people.
reduce, cut, cut down/back, make cutbacks in, scale down, trim, decrease, diminish, pare down, whittle away, prune;
rationalize, downsize


1 [in singular] A course or period of slimming: a sponsored slim
More example sentences
  • The priest lost 13 lb in a sponsored slim during the period of Lent.
  • He says he will not be led into temptation as he embarks on a sponsored slim during the period of Lent.
  • Treasurer Helen Smith has been working steadily on a sponsored slim in preparation for a daring wing walk at Elvington Airfield on August Bank Holiday weekend.
2 (also slim disease) African term for AIDS.
Example sentences
  • But their phenomenal wealth led them all into bad ways and the slim disease - Aids - has finally caught up with almost all of them.
  • Because of the severe weight-loss they called it Slim disease.
  • The virus that caused the syndrome that came to be known as AIDS, and that Ugandansrecognise as Slim, was only formally identified in 1984.



Example sentences
  • The slimly built local lad is in the form of his life and with each outing he seems to improve.
  • He is tall, refined, slimly athletic, and from old money.
  • The slimly built paceman bowled lengthy spells without compromising on his intensity, and struck a few key blows.


Pronunciation: /ˈslɪmnəs/
Example sentences
  • Like strength to an ancient hunter and productivity to an ancient woman, slimness to a modern woman reflects self-control, self-sacrifice and good taste.
  • Wise beyond his years he may be, but in terms of physique, the 21-year-old Scot knows there is some way to go before the slimness of adolescence is replaced by the muscular body of the big hitters.
  • We live in an age when beauty is associated with slimness, and women everywhere are spending their money and expending their energies on trying to achieve this fashion ideal.


Mid 17th century: from Low German or Dutch (from a base meaning 'slanting, cross, bad'), of Germanic origin. The pejorative sense found in Dutch and German existed originally in the English noun slim 'lazy or worthless person'; compare with the South African usage 'crafty, sly' (sense 3 of the adjective).

  • Slim may now be something we aspire to be, but it comes from a Low German or Dutch base meaning ‘slanting, cross, bad’. The pejorative sense found in Dutch and German existed originally in the English noun slim ‘lazy or worthless person’ and South African usage still reflects the meaning ‘crafty, sly’. While it came into English in the sense ‘gracefully thin’, it has reflected the sense ‘poor, slight’ as in slim chance (late 17th century).

Words that rhyme with slim

bedim, brim, crim, dim, glim, grim, Grimm, gym, him, hymn, Jim, Kim, limb, limn, nim, prim, scrim, shim, Sim, skim, swim, Tim, trim, vim, whim

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: slim

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