Definition of slim in English:



  • 1(of a person or their build) gracefully thin; slender.

    ‘her slim figure’
    ‘the girls were tall and slim’
    • ‘The other was slightly shorter at 5ft 8in tall and of slim build.’
    • ‘One was slim build, with short dark hair and 5ft 9ins tall.’
    • ‘Her dress was straight out of a fairytale, with its light, graceful layers that served to accentuate the woman's slim build.’
    • ‘Her figure was slim and pretty, her fingers slender and graceful as she steadfastly worked at her stitching.’
    • ‘His accomplice was white, 5ft 9in, of slim build and in his 20s.’
    • ‘He was slim to medium build, with cropped, mousy brown hair and spoke with a local accent.’
    • ‘She was slim but not thin, and her golden skin seemed to glow in the candlelight.’
    • ‘But if you're slim and trim, then you can have a blast.’
    • ‘I was built with very small bones, resulting in my slim figure.’
    • ‘He is about 5ft 4in tall, of slim build, with a thin face.’
    • ‘She was slim, and wearing figure hugging black trousers and an elbow length wine coloured top.’
    • ‘His skin was very pale and he was slim and not built up at all.’
    • ‘But if that's the case how come you are so slim and slender?’
    • ‘Her slim figure and graceful movements suggested to him that she knew how to quietly slip into a room, or to turn it into a swirling storm of attention.’
    • ‘She was of average build and had a nice, slim figure.’
    • ‘The male is described as of thin build, slim features, 6ft, short brown hair, early 30s, wearing a long, black scruffy coat.’
    • ‘He was slim and strong, built like a rapier and just as fast.’
    • ‘They are looking for a black male, 22 years old, six feet tall with a slim build, a thin mustache, wearing a gray shirt and jeans.’
    • ‘Racing up to the entrance, Nick saw a slim man leaned up against the wall, clutching his profusely bleeding wrist.’
    • ‘Few can deny that girls in Shanghai are more and more stylish, with dyed hair, high-soled shoes, slim figures and above all, clothes with less material.’
    slender, lean, willowy, sylphlike, svelte, lissom, graceful, snake-hipped, rangy, clean-limbed, trim, slight, slightly built
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    1. 1.1(of a thing) small in width and typically long and narrow in shape.
      ‘a slim gold band encircled her wrist’
      • ‘He gave her a slim gold band that once belonged to his mother, and she gave him violets, her favorite flower.’
      • ‘Even in the winter of his years, he maintained his slim necktie, suspicious glances, overall decency and a peculiar use of his fedora onstage.’
      • ‘Several of the more modern ornaments are elegant in form and shape and can be stylishly worn on a slim chain around the neck.’
      • ‘As he does, Martina opens the box, revealing a slim, white gold ring.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Leonard combines these shapes with slim rectangles of varying sizes that seem to trim or buttress the larger shapes.’
      • ‘New recruits should opt for slim ties - narrow to medium-narrow width.’
      • ‘It is also seen in the style of some mosques and minarets with their slim and ornate shapes, as well as in public buildings such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Qurm.’
      • ‘He grabbed it and unsheathed it, admiring the slim silver blade and the connoisseur smith who had shaped it.’
      • ‘Most satisfying is that each image is a gem with only a slim band of white space separating one from another.’
      • ‘Both ladies were wearing slim gold circlets studded with diamonds, which marked them as princesses.’
      • ‘She wore a slim gold band around her head, a white tunic, and jeans and boots.’
      • ‘This combination of materials was just not conducive to the slim shape that was needed to smoothly penetrate the ocean of air.’
      • ‘There's more body movement, though - the hand on the chin is a favourite, showing off the unflashy watch and slim wedding band.’
      • ‘Trousers are slim and close to the leg, slightly flaring at the shoe.’
      • ‘She gave a sigh of disgust, her eyes narrowing behind her slim glasses.’
      • ‘I slid a slim silver band off of my left ring finger.’
      • ‘Instead, a slim band marks and secures the precise joining of the vessel's single sheet of bent brass at the front.’
      • ‘Putting the cloth aside, she held a slim, gold hilted sword in her hand.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She wore slim rectangular, gold glasses that were at the end of her nose.’
      narrow, slender, slimline
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    2. 1.2(of a garment) cut on slender lines; designed to make the wearer appear slim.
      ‘a pair of slim, immaculately cut trousers’
      • ‘Her mother was sparkling in a slim gown fitted with diamonds to resemble the sky.’
      • ‘A lot more robust seems Ane Urkizu's range of asymmetric shapes and screen printed fabrics made into pencil skirts and slim fit trousers.’
      • ‘A slim satin trousersuit appeared to have been stitched from a rising sun flag.’
      • ‘She was in a tight, slim coat, with legs as long as my body, and she had high cheekbones and perfect straight hair.’
      • ‘I don't think I could even if I wanted to - a lot of women's jeans are cut so slim, tight and stretchy, there isn't room to tuck in.’
      • ‘Other hip, comfy alternatives include layering it over jeans or slim pants.’
      • ‘Aimed at a more mature woman, there were plenty of slim skirts teamed with jackets and T-shirts.’
      • ‘Fall's slim coat has a retro feel that works well with the season's more refined and polished looks.’
      • ‘Concealed beneath the dress were slim black slippers, and thin gold bands glinted on wrists and fingers.’
      • ‘The dress was slim and had a small slit at the back.’
      • ‘She wore a plain dress of gold, which was slim but not skin-tight.’
      • ‘Just so you know, slim suits look fine, but tight suits lean toward the tacky side. starching your shirt’
      • ‘So try to keep the silhouettes simple with full-cut shirts tucked into slim pants or pencil skirts.’
      • ‘His styles were luxurious, with credits to the 1950s in slim suits and dresses, and wide picture hats.’
      • ‘Big, poufed dresses can be overpowering on a tall woman, and very slim dresses can make you look even taller.’
      • ‘It's not just her look - wraparound pearlescent shades, ponytail, simple white T shirt with slim jeans.’
    3. 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’
      • ‘We have not got a figure but we know at the end of the three years we will have to be a slimmer organisation.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2(of something abstract, especially a chance or margin) very small.

    ‘there was just a slim chance of success’
    ‘a slim majority of sixteen’
    • ‘The chances are slim that any change would be made.’
    • ‘Right now an alien who crosses the border knows that he stands a very slim chance, if any at all, of being caught once he's here.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The likelihood of that appeared very slim in a country where the president and prime minister regularly exchange public insults.’
    • ‘But the chances that his diet caused his narrowed arteries are slim to none.’
    • ‘She has a slim chance of success, yet the financial world is slowly replacing their faith in her appeal.’
    • ‘As stated above, the potential for the development of delta agonists into clinically useful agents for the treatment of severe pain appears slim.’
    • ‘However, the prospects for discontinuous, disruptive change appear slim.’
    • ‘Opportunities to break into the first team at Preston appear to be slim, with five other players ahead of him in the pecking order at Deepdale.’
    • ‘Oakenshaw only fielded five players, which is never a good tactic, and their hopes of surviving the drop appear slim.’
    • ‘But realistically the pair have only a slim chance of medal success in that final.’
    • ‘By contrast, the literature on Britain appears to be surprisingly slim and tends to make repeated reference to the same or similar lists of crimes and cases.’
    • ‘Having said that, the chances of finding any such gold are slim.’
    • ‘Buoyed by the slim margin, the Carlow border side rallied from the restart.’
    • ‘Knowing full well that the chances of someone actually being on the other line were slim to none, she answered the phone nonetheless.’
    • ‘Coach Dan Issel surely will continue to search for the elusive big man he coveted in July, but the odds of finding someone who can make much difference appear slim.’
    • ‘Most English Catholics were appalled by news of the plot, realizing the slim chance of success, and that failure would lead to further repression.’
    • ‘He also collected a silver medal in the 50m freestyle in which he was pipped at the post for the gold by a very slim 0.04 of a second margin in another PB swim.’
    • ‘Sort of suggests that it's not the slim possibility that the band might have a couple of extra ounces on them that's the problem they're facing, Louis.’
    • ‘The prospects of agreement on a devolution package in the near future appear slim, however.’
    slight, small, slender, faint, feeble, poor, flimsy, tenuous, fragile, negligible, marginal, minimal
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  • 3South African Crafty, sly, or unscrupulous.

    • ‘That's all the mannetjie with the forked tail, bad breath and sulphur body odour is waiting for, slim sales talk.’
    deceitful, duplicitous, fraudulent, counterfeit, sham, bogus, cheating, underhand, cunning, crafty, sly, guileful, scheming, perfidious, treacherous, machiavellian, dissembling, disingenuous, untrustworthy, unscrupulous, unprincipled, dishonest, untruthful, lying, mendacious, insincere, false
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[NO OBJECT]British
  • 1 Make oneself thinner by dieting and sometimes exercising.

    ‘if he's overweight, he should slim’
    ‘an aid to slimming’
    • ‘Then a new job as a spa chef in Hawaii motivated her to slim down.’
    • ‘With half of all Britons overweight, the government's plan to get us to slim down looks like a daunting task.’
    • ‘He'd begun to slim down just before he was cast in Hercules and had to quickly put that process into reverse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Huezo's husband has a grapefruit-sized lump in his stomach where he had injections to slim down.’
    • ‘Sometimes a jockey is unable to slim down to the weight allocated to a particular horse.’
    • ‘And overweight people have to decide for themselves whether they want to slim down.’
    • ‘She had bought a gown three sizes too small hoping to slim down to fit it.’
    • ‘But, having slimmed down on a specially designed diet and training regime, the two-time Golden Boot winner has begun to recapture the form that once made him the most prolific marksman in world football.’
    • ‘For the sake of her heart and her health, I wish she could slim down a little, but that said, she is a one-off who has made it to the top and deserves to stay there for a while.’
    • ‘Good nutrition is crucial when you're attempting to slim down.’
    • ‘At home I have big vats of cabbage soup that I make to slim down.’
    • ‘For anyone trying to slim down, a body-fat test is a better way to monitor progress than the scale is.’
    • ‘Again it took three months of sweat to slim down to Air Force standards.’
    • ‘She said her weight loss had inspired her to get to work and help other people to slim down.’
    • ‘Take some omega - 3 supplements before your daily workout, and you may slim down.’
    • ‘He was told by Davis to slim down by the next minicamp, which was held last week.’
    • ‘But if you want to slim down, consider some additional ways to reduce your fat intake.’
    • ‘A nutrition expert slammed the ‘lose weight’ order saying the pop world had gone mad if the girls had been told to slim down.’
    • ‘If they don't slim down by age 20, their life expectancy will drop by up to 20 years.’
    lose weight, get thinner, lose some pounds, shed some pounds, lose some inches, get into shape, shape up, reduce, diet, go on a diet
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    1. 1.1[with object]Make (a person or part of the body) thinner by dieting or exercising.
      ‘how can I slim down my hips?’
      • ‘Women are reported to have liposuction to slim down tubby toes, or unsightly misshapen bones whittled smooth by laser.’
      • ‘In response to that belief the food industry introduced thousands of new reduced fat products designed to slim waistlines.’
      • ‘Operations that shave jawbones to slim the face are also in demand throughout Southeast Asia.’
      • ‘I am consistent with my eating habits and exercise routine but still cannot slim down my hips and thighs.’
      • ‘His body was slimmed down for endurance, but he still had the muscles that bespoke several trips to the gym each week.’
      • ‘And the profits of some other multinationals have been hit as Americans try to slim their ever-expanding waistlines.’
      • ‘Slimming your waist and hips will contribute to the illusion of broader shoulders.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 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’
      • ‘Mrs Candler said books would remain important to the Discovery Centre, although the reference side might be slimmed down to reduce duplication.’
      • ‘Therefore it may not be possible to slim down an area as much as you might like.’
      • ‘In fact, the loss in value of equity holdings meant some funds needed to slim down their property portfolios.’
      • ‘Sir Peter Gershon, who masterminded a recent report on slimming down the public sector, was a former senior executive in the defence and electronics industries.’
      • ‘Kirchhof believes he can slim down or scrap more than 90,000 tax rules and 418 tax exemptions.’
      • ‘The import and the significance of it, in fact, is deepening while the world seems to be bit by bit switching off or slimming down its view of this war.’
      • ‘Have the courage to slim down the size of the workforce.’
      • ‘Corporatisation has slimmed the size of the postal service and forced the closure of many old post offices.’
      • ‘He said his aim was to slim down the targets to the essential ones, but refused to follow the Liberal Democrats and Tories, who argue they should be abolished altogether.’
      • ‘Among other advantages, the authors note, is the ability to keep people further from harm's way and slim the size of the staff needed.’
      • ‘Five boxes of business cards were slimmed down to three - two of mine, and one full of other people.’
      • ‘Observers hope Mr Koizumi is more successful at slimming down the spending.’
      • ‘Chinese officials are likely to have noted that many foreign businesses have slimmed their operations or withdrawn altogether from the Chinese market, the sources said.’
      • ‘This allows you to turn off some features, hopefully slimming down the window manager for use on resource-limited systems.’
      • ‘He wants to slim down the civil service to free money for extra spending on health, education, defence and housing.’
      • ‘Some of the big news sites tried coping by slimming down the size of their pages and adding servers, but this helped only marginally.’
      • ‘The state is slimming down its provision of maintenance and social welfare for the poorest of the poor.’
      • ‘Hull Council is ‘top-heavy’ with bureaucracy and needs to be radically slimmed down, new council leader Ken Branson said yesterday.’
      • ‘A better choice would be slimming down our immense private health-care bureaucracy and switching to a simpler single-payer system.’
      reduce, cut, cut back, cut down, make cutbacks in, scale down, trim, decrease, diminish, pare down, whittle away, prune
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  • 1[in singular] A course or period of slimming.

    ‘a sponsored slim’
    • ‘He says he will not be led into temptation as he embarks on a sponsored slim during the period of Lent.’
    • ‘FAT friends have been given a tour around a hospice to see how cash raised from a sponsored slim will be used.’
    • ‘Scores of money-raising efforts were organised - from raffling a pair of boxing gloves, to a women's sponsored slim.’
    • ‘But as it was just after Christmas, Mrs Millar decided to try a sponsored slim among the pupils' parents and it proved successful.’
    • ‘All proceeds from the sponsored slim will be donated to the Cancer Society.’
    • ‘She lost two stones over the course of a year for a sponsored slim that raised £320 for the hospital.’
    • ‘Susan is also attempting a sponsored walk and Corinne and her husband, David, have started a sponsored slim.’
    • ‘By February the caring team had raised over £2,000 by doing a sponsored slim and holding a coffee morning.’
    • ‘The priest lost 13 lb in 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.’
    • ‘In the report, Mrs Wishick had announced she was doing a sponsored slim on behalf of the British Kidney Patient Association, of which Oliver is a member.’
    • ‘Anyone wishing to support the sponsored slim can phone Simon and Vicki.’
    • ‘A sponsored slim in is taking place over Lent in aid of the Laois Hospice Foundation.’
    • ‘A good number of people are taking part in a sponsored slim in organised by a local charity.’
  • 2

    African term for AIDS
    • ‘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.’


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 ( slim).