Definition of thinness in US English:



  • 1The state or quality of having opposite surfaces or sides close together.

    ‘the thinness of the paper’
    ‘the thinness of the walls’
    figurative ‘the thinness of the line between tolerance and blackmail’
    • ‘The stuffing beneath the worn velvet seat cover sighed to wafer thinness under her negligible weight.’
    • ‘The panels are separated by 8-inch glass slits, which dramatize their lightness and thinness.’
    • ‘The tablet has been a design classic since its launch and pictures don't really capture its incredible thinness and lightness.’
    • ‘The gold is then quartered and the process is repeated until the leaf has attained the desired thinness, which is very very thin indeed.’
    • ‘Despite its thinness, the film provides thermal properties normally associated with more massive building components.’
    1. 1.1 The quality of being made of light material.
      ‘the thinness of the clothes’
      • ‘The thinness of the blanket reminded me instantly that I was not at home.’
      • ‘She noted the thinness of the child's nightgown.’
      • ‘Looking at the thinness of the flags, we figured that the grommets would pull out pretty quickly.’
      • ‘The show makes it clear that the chief attraction of any fairy in any painting of the times is the thinness of the fabric she wears.’
  • 2The state or quality of having little, or too little, flesh or fat on the body.

    ‘the pitiful thinness of his body’
    ‘society's dangerous emphasis on thinness’
    • ‘She argues that while thinness is equated with success and being valued, a "lethal cocktail exists" for women today.’
    • ‘Because of his thinness, he was able to slide through with ease.’
    • ‘They can be beautiful in their obesity or their thinness.’
    • ‘They believe thinness will make them a more perfect person.’
    • ‘There's nothing pretty about his thinness any more; he's a walking bruise with bones sticking out all over.’
  • 3The state of having few parts or people relative to the area covered or filled.

    ‘the thinness of the population’
    ‘the thinness of my hair’
    • ‘She has several times recently called attention to the thinness of my hair at the top of my head.’
    • ‘During the war in the Crimea, the thinness of the British ranks soon became an embarrassment.’
    • ‘Their last two albums have been so bloated that the relative thinness here is welcome.’
    • ‘It all helps her believe that despite the thinness of professional weavers on the ground, the craft is still very much alive.’
    • ‘Signs of a sick tree include a premature change in leaf color, misshapen leaves, thinness of the canopy and early loss of leaves.’
    1. 3.1 The quality of air containing less oxygen than normal.
      ‘the thinness of the atmosphere at such extreme altitudes’
      • ‘The reduced noise will result not only from the distance of the aircraft above the ground but from the thinness of the atmosphere at such extreme altitudes.’
      • ‘I think it may be something to do with the thinness of the air. 'Tis quite high.’
      • ‘He will have to spend hours before his leap inhaling pure oxygen to dispel any traces of nitrogen from his blood due to the thinness of the air at 40,000 m.’
      • ‘The air is blue, and the horizon appears blue to the sight on a clear day, and the air by reason of its thinness is not apt to terminate the strong and rigorous vital beams.’
      • ‘Cross-country skiing in the mountains presents some special challenges, starting with the thinness of the air.’
  • 4The quality of a liquid substance not containing much solid.

    ‘the thinness of the paint’
    ‘the relative thinness of water compared with silicone gel’
    • ‘Another sign that the desert scenes were painted quickly is the thinness of the paint.’
    • ‘The colouring is usually much more subdued,with a watercolour-like thinness of texture.’
    • ‘The resulting effect of bumpy frosted glass or textured clear plastic belies the thinness of the paint that creates the illusion.’
    • ‘The thinness of the liquid is vital to the operation of the pump.’
    • ‘Respiratory criteria, such as spontaneous respiratory rate, thinness of secretions, and cough and swallow reflexes, were evaluated.’
  • 5Lack of substance or quality; weakness.

    ‘there's enough action to camouflage the thinness of the plot’
    ‘the thinness of the evidence’
    • ‘The play received such a gutsy performance by a terrific cast that its feeling of thinness momentarily faded.’
    • ‘He was dismayed by the "intellectual thinness" of the country.’
    • ‘Online, the thinness of the connection permits us to take social liberties that in a real-world, embodied meeting we would not.’
    • ‘They point out the thinness of the explanation.’
    • ‘They acquiesced in the Assembly's dissolution, testifying to the thinness of a culture of democracy and law.’