\ ˈgȯnt How to pronounce gaunt (audio) , ˈgänt \

Definition of gaunt

1 : excessively thin and angular a long gaunt face

Other Words from gaunt

gauntly adverb
gauntness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gaunt

lean, spare, lank, lanky, gaunt, rawboned, scrawny, skinny mean thin because of an absence of excess flesh. lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours. a lean racehorse spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise. the gymnast's spare figure lank implies tallness as well as leanness. the lank legs of the heron lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness. a lanky youth, all arms and legs gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering. a prisoner's gaunt face rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment. a rawboned farmer scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality. a scrawny chicken skinny street urchins

Examples of gaunt in a Sentence

He left the hospital looking tired and gaunt. a gaunt factory on the edge of town
Recent Examples on the Web On April 29, Nikita sent a selfie of his gaunt, unshaven face after weeks surviving on minimal rations. Matthew Luxmoore, WSJ, 17 May 2022 When photographs surfaced of Salinas, gaunt and bare-chested, in an ambulance, many Venezuelans asked how a person of his stature could suffer such a fate. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2022 By graduation day, many will have lost 20 pounds or more, their gaunt faces sometimes shocking family and friends who attend. Will Bardenwerper, Outside Online, 20 Apr. 2020 Alan Hencher, a gaunt man in his mid-40s, worked nights as a switchboard operator. Brandy Schillace, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Jacob was gaunt and sullen, his beard tied in two long braids. Zach Williams, The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2022 Lying on his back with oxygen tubes in his nostrils, John Kline was gaunt, pale and not responding to his son. USA Today, 10 Mar. 2022 And so, a week after a gaunt and bare-headed king waved goodbye to a beloved daughter on an airport tarmac, a queen returned to take his place. Los Angeles Times, 4 Feb. 2022 And the actor who plays the man himself, Ulrich Matthes, is a little too gaunt to convey much robust, dangerous charisma (even if his eyes do radiate a certain magnetic madness). Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of gaunt

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gaunt

Middle English

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The first known use of gaunt was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gaunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for gaunt


\ ˈgȯnt How to pronounce gaunt (audio) \
gaunter; gauntest

Kids Definition of gaunt

: very thin and bony (as from illness or hunger) a gaunt face

More from Merriam-Webster on gaunt

Nglish: Translation of gaunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gaunt for Arabic Speakers


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