\ ˈlaŋ-kē How to pronounce lanky (audio) \
lankier; lankiest

Definition of lanky

: ungracefully tall and thin

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Other Words from lanky

lankily \ ˈlaŋ-​kə-​lē How to pronounce lankily (audio) \ adverb
lankiness \ ˈlaŋ-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce lankiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lanky

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 lanky in a Sentence

the lanky basketball star was great at slam-dunking

Recent Examples on the Web

Dustin May, the lanky 21-year-old Dodgers pitcher promoted to triple-A Oklahoma City alongside Lux on June 27, fired his fastball at 98 mph during an impeccable eight-pitch third inning. Maria Torres,, "Angels’ Jo Adell, Dodgers’ Gavin Lux and Dustin May showcased at Futures Game," 7 July 2019 The lanky, dark-haired sergeant entered the dark house alone, his flashlight off, prepared to catch a prowler by surprise. Tribune News Service,, "The Man in the Window: First the burglaries; then the dogs started dying (Part Two)," 22 June 2019 Dream, a former clown born Richard Archer, was a grim and lanky guy in his fifties who always had a black pit bull named Bleau Bell by his side. Joe Kloc, Harper's magazine, "Lost at Sea," 10 June 2019 If the sixth time is finally a charm for Washington Township (22-6), the lanky pitcher will likely be at the center of it. Mike Hutton, Post-Tribune, "Baseball notes: William Roberts leads Washington Township under the watchful eyes of his father and brother," 7 June 2019 The lanky left-hander struck out 10 of the first 12 East Ridge hitters, including the first five. Mike Cook, Twin Cities, "Class 4A state baseball: No-hit for 4 innings, East Ridge erupts to beat New Prague for title," 21 June 2019 Mike Clevinger, a lanky right-hander who had 207 strikeouts in 200 innings last season, has become Bauer’s pet project. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Trevor Bauer, Baseball’s Imperfect Evangelist," 21 June 2019 On the mound, pitching in 11 games, the lanky right-hander posted a 3-1 record with two saves. Craig Clary,, "Senior Ben Hall is Catonsville Times Male Athlete of the Year," 13 June 2019 Three days earlier, Philip, who was sixty, tall and lanky, with owlish glasses and mustache, had picked up his wife from an HCR ManorCare nursing home. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lanky.' 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 lanky

circa 1818, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for lanky

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for lanky

The first known use of lanky was circa 1818

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More Definitions for lanky



English Language Learners Definition of lanky

: tall and thin with usually an awkward quality


\ ˈlaŋ-kē How to pronounce lanky (audio) \
lankier; lankiest

Kids Definition of lanky

: very tall and thin a lanky teenager

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More from Merriam-Webster on lanky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lanky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lanky

Spanish Central: Translation of lanky

Nglish: Translation of lanky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lanky for Arabic Speakers

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