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

Definition of gaunt

1 : excessively thin and angular a long gaunt face

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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 At a lavish masquerade ball, a tall, gaunt guest arrives to ruin their careless fun. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "How Do Plague Stories End?," 24 Mar. 2021 And by the light of the fire in his hearth, Dickens somberly watched the gaunt procession of the ghosts of his own Christmas past and present and that yet to come, haunted by his own time of poverty, his humiliations and yearnings. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Dickens’ ‘Carol’ is a highlight of Christmases past and present," 25 Dec. 2020 What really blew me away was volunteering two days before Thanksgiving at a Potrero Hill warehouse for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and eyeing a familiar fellow volunteer — but one who looked gaunt and sadder and sleepier than usual. Heather Knight,, "S.F. City Hall scandal: Why were lavishly paid public servants allegedly bribed for so little?," 5 Dec. 2020 By then, Boseman’s cancer had left him a gaunt and diminished figure. Michael Phillips,, "‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ review: In 1927 Chicago, Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis and August Wilson play glorious three-part harmony," 20 Nov. 2020 As dawn approaches and the ayahuasca starts wearing off, participants emerge looking gaunt and dazed as the rational mind struggles to regain control. Ernesto Londoño And Adam Ferguson New York Times, Star Tribune, "Psychedelics draw veterans to jungle in search of healing," 10 Sep. 2020 When the dance was over, the teacher, looking gaunt and wasted, held the cat in her arms and bowed, shoulders slumped. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, "Missed Steps," 26 Aug. 2020 Standing in front of the Han Gil that late afternoon was a young woman — a child, really, pale and gaunt. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Good riddance to the place called the ‘Han Hell,’ where drugs and death were dealt," 3 June 2020 When Kysilkova shows Nordland his first portrait, something truly unusual happens: Nordland’s eyes widen, the lines on his gaunt face deepen, and his mouth falls open in a wail. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "A Profound Experience of Art," 2 June 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for gaunt

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

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Statistics for gaunt

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gaunt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for gaunt



English Language Learners Definition of gaunt

: very thin usually because of illness or suffering
literary : plain and unpleasant in appearance : desolate and gloomy


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaunt

Nglish: Translation of gaunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gaunt for Arabic Speakers

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