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 Russ watched a gangly, at-times clumsy hurler work hard to become one of the most intimidating pitchers in high school and then college. Brent Zwerneman,, "Asa Lacy of Texas A&M goes to Kansas City Royals with fourth pick in MLB draft," 10 June 2020 Few people have a better grasp on Michael Jordan’s evolution from gangly teenager to NBA legend than does Chris Mullin. Connor Letourneau,, "‘The Last Dance’: Chris Mullin’s unique perspective on Michael Jordan’s career," 17 May 2020 Scan the pages of her gangly script onto my iPhone, AirDrop them into the iMac, upload to the cloud, throw the pages into the trash. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Sounding It Out," 25 May 2020 Its creative director, Jenna Lyons, who first joined as part of the design team in 1990, became a boldface name, known for her black-rimmed glasses, gangly frame and love of sequins and camouflage. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "J. Crew Files for Bankruptcy in Virus’s First Big Retail Casualty," 11 Apr. 2020 Nicolás’s performance is writ large, but Lara nails the uneasiness of the gangly Amér, and José Antonio González creates a vibrant portrait of Amér’s supportive brother. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "GALA’s ‘Exquisita Agonia’ pours its heart out," 13 Feb. 2020 Warm temperatures can contribute to gangly plants, too, so keep an eye out. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska gardeners have lots of questions about seeds and seedlings," 9 Apr. 2020 Herd manager Meg Puckett shared a photo of the gangly foal, a bay with two socks and a star, learning to walk alongside his mom, North Star. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Wild Horse Herd Welcomes First Foal Since Deadly Hurricane Season on the Outer Banks," 7 Apr. 2020 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is both antagonist and comic relief, a gangly Colonel Klink without the laugh track. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Keeping Up With the Cuomos," 4 Apr. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of gangly was in 1871

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Statistics for gangly

Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gangly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for gangly


How to pronounce gangly (audio)

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

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