I am looking for adjectives to describe the size of tube shape objects such as a rope, stick, bat, or carrot. I want to describe if the diameter is large or small. Do people just say big and small? Or is there any specific and common way to describe large and small diameter? Thank you!

  • Thick. Wide. Big. Fat. All depends on the context though. Jun 2, 2020 at 1:48

1 Answer 1


Thick and thin are generally used to describe the transverse dimension of some long object, whether it's cylindrical or not. You also hear fat and skinny.

Less common, but still possible are wide and narrow. In cases where diameters have numerically-defined standards (e.g., electrical wires or plumbing pipes), you might hear wide gauge and narrow gauge.

  • 1
    I suspect that 'wide' and 'narrow' is for hollow cylinders. You would describe a pipe or a downspout as 'wide', but not a wire. Although, I think that one would probably describe a tube as 'thick', not 'narrow'.
    – svangordon
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:57
  • 1
    @svangordon - You're right that I wouldn't call a thick wire wide, though I would call it wide-gauge. Occasionally you'll hear large-gauge, but that's a bit confusing because physically larger gauges are numerically smaller (that is, gauge 10 wire is thicker than gauge 12 wire), so people use wide-gauge to eliminate that ambiguity. Jun 2, 2020 at 13:01

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