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

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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

Jagger twirled his minuscule hips and gangly limbs in a dance with that rhythm, as if his body were being controlled by the flicks of Watts’ wrists. Greg Kot,, "The Rolling Stones review: A rejuvenated Mick Jagger leads the band at Soldier Field," 22 June 2019 But a popular recurring gag is based on TV commercials done by a local mattress-store owner, whose gangly dance moves are ably parodied by Cameron Morrison. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Farewell to the 'Follies’: Mr. Whitekeys says his shows are ending — for good, this time," 12 June 2019 The gangly country squire and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg often answers interview questions in Latin. Tina Brown, Time, "Tina Brown: How Britain Lost the Plot Over Brexit," 6 June 2019 As a youngster, Brady, his mother and her third husband moved to Danville, where he was taunted for his gangly appearance and farm boy nature. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "'Kill-Crazy' Brady gang tried to out-gangster John Dillinger," 29 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for gangly

Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce gangly (audio) \
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

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something desired as essential

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