thin in a healthy and attractive way: ➔ see usage note thin1
He was lean, tall, and muscular.
lean meat does not have much fat on it [≠ fatty]
a lean organization, company etc uses only as much money and as many people as it needs, so that nothing is wasted
a lean period is a very difficult time because there is not enough money, business etc:
His wife was a source of constant support during the lean years.
—leanness noun [uncountable]WORD CHOICE:
thin, slim, skinny, slender, lean, slightThin is a general word meaning that someone has little fat on their body. It is usually, but not always, disapproving • He's much too thin. • Teenage girls all seem to want to be thin.Slim means thin in an attractive way • her lovely slim figureSkinny is a fairly informal word meaning very thin, which is usually disapproving • ridiculously skinny modelsSlender, lean, and slight are used mostly in written English.Slender means thin in an attractive and graceful way • long slender legsLean means thin and looking strong and fit • a tall, lean athleteSlight means thin and delicate-looking • Her brother was very slight and looked younger than he was. ➔ See also thin