Scrawny is an insulting way to describe someone who's very thin and weak. You might be surprised by how lifting weights transformed your scrawny teammate to a muscular athlete by the end of the season.

The adjective scrawny can describe a small, underweight body but it can also describe anything that's not very big or well-made — a scrawny tree that never gets any taller or fuller or a scrawny audience that disappoints the band because they were expecting a sold-out concert. Scrawny may have come from the Old Norse word skraelna, to shrivel.

Definitions of scrawny
  1. adjective
    being very thin
    “a long scrawny neck”
    synonyms: boney, scraggy, skinny, underweight, weedy
    lean, thin
    lacking excess flesh
  2. adjective
    inferior in size or quality
    scrawny cattle”
    synonyms: scrubby, stunted
    of low or inferior quality
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