gan·​gly | \ ˈgaŋ-glē How to pronounce gangly (audio) \
ganglier; gangliest

Definition of gangly

1a : tall and thin and moving with a loose-jointed awkwardness : lanky, gangling It is a cool night in San Jose, and gangly teenagers stream toward the Gunderson gym.— Chris Ballard
b : long and thin His linen suit was appropriately rumpled … and his gangly legs were jacked up against the glove box, as he resisted suggestions to slide his seat back.— Cara Buckley
2 of a plant : having a tall and sparse appearance : lacking fullness These tall (to 8 feet), sometimes gangly shrubs bear cup-shaped, strong-scented flowers.— Michael MacCaskey

Examples of gangly in a Sentence

a gangly teenager who was born to play varsity basketball
Recent Examples on the Web The Frenchman arrived in Utah nearly a decade ago, gangly and unproven, confident and undeterred. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 July 2022 At the time, Clarke said, Giddey was going through a teenage growth spurt — all gangly limbs, stiff hips and raw potential. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 What is clear from the start is that this gangly, unassuming fellow radiates sweetness. Thr Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 June 2022 Dewhirst was gangly, lightly bearded, and wearing an orange vest. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 27 May 2022 Glenn walked onto Lausanne’s campus a gangly, big-footed 140-pounder from Covington, Tenn., a small town of 8,863 people, per the latest census. Nick Alvarez |, al, 23 June 2022 With that third pick, Auerbach took a gangly 6-11 kid from Minnesota named Kevin McHale. Bob Ryan,, 1 June 2022 Outside a gangly teenager wearing what looked like a blue Walmart worker’s vest, protective earplugs and safety glasses stood on the front lawn. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2022 In the footage screened, the gangly teen hangs out with a possible crush, watching cheesy game shows and experiencing an oddly comfortable mid-summer malaise of being young and bored and having not much to do. Ben Croll, Variety, 30 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gangly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of gangly

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gangly

probably from gangl(ing) + -y entry 1

Learn More About gangly

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gang mill

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Statistics for gangly

Last Updated

24 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gangly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for gangly


gan·​gly | \ ˈgaŋ-glē How to pronounce gangly (audio) \
ganglier; gangliest

Kids Definition of gangly

: tall, thin, and awkward a gangly teenager

More from Merriam-Webster on gangly

Nglish: Translation of gangly for Spanish Speakers


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