gan·​gly | \ ˈgaŋ-glē \
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

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Examples of gangly in a Sentence

a gangly teenager who was born to play varsity basketball

Recent Examples on the Web

On the Paris runways, labels like Balenciaga and Acne Studios show gangly sweaters with drooping sleeves and haphazard necklines, while Margiela is peddling distressed sneakers that appear to have been run over by a truck and glued back together. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Why Are Male Celebrities Dressing Like Such Slobs?," 27 Aug. 2018 Matic was tall and gangly, but Red Star saw a burgeoning attacking midfielder. James Montague, New York Times, "Leading Serbia at World Cup, Nemanja Matic Has One Foot Rooted at Home," 22 June 2018 Once a gangly kid who could catch, he's developed into quite the specimen. Scott Springer,, "Many DI football programs, like Big Ten, ACC schools, all in for Fairfield's Erick All," 13 June 2018 When next year’s holiday card comes in the mail, the little brother will no longer be gangly and adorable. Charlotte Wilder,, "America Would Love These Celtics if They Weren’t From Boston," 17 May 2018 De Wilde, whose gangly frame recalls the Cramps' Lux Interior in his prime, is a whirlwind of energy onstage, so much so that her dancing can sometimes seem like a physical reaction to the sound waves crashing through her body. Randall Roberts,, "Video premiere: Starcrawler shreds through Japan in new clip for 'Love's Gone Again'," 1 May 2018 Two students, a gangly man and a woman with tawny hair, drifted back to Ecology House, shouldering backpacks. New York Times, "Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession," 13 Apr. 2018 Take for example the disc of warm celery root served alongside a gangly bouquet of meaty maitake mushroom gently tempuraed to create a crispy contrast with a pool of creamy mustard. Victoria Pesce Elliott, miamiherald, "Why this restaurant earned our first ‘Exceptional’ review in two years. (Hint: its talented tattooed chef) | Miami Herald," 5 Apr. 2018 Thus this gangly-limbed thespian—on his way to being one of the best college basketball players in the country—came to be Benny Southstreet. Dan Greene,, "Notre Dame Faces Tough Challenge Without Bonzie Colson and His Expertise in Exceeding Expectations," 8 Jan. 2018

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for gangly

The first known use of gangly was in 1871

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More Definitions for gangly



English Language Learners Definition of gangly

: tall, thin, and awkward
: long and thin


gan·​gly | \ ˈgaŋ-glē \
ganglier; gangliest

Kids Definition of gangly

: tall, thin, and awkward a gangly teenager

More from Merriam-Webster on gangly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gangly

Nglish: Translation of gangly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on gangly

What made you want to look up gangly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to set apart or to segregate

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