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

Definition of lanky

: ungracefully tall and thin

Other Words from lanky

lankily \ ˈlaŋ-​kə-​lē How to pronounce lanky (audio) \ adverb
lankiness \ ˈlaŋ-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce lanky (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 My hibiscus plants have grown tall and a bit lanky. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 27 Aug. 2022 Kelley Watt was there with Tony Mead, a lanky Florida man who had been an administrator of the now-defunct Sandy Hook Hoax Facebook group. Amanda J. Crawford,, 17 Aug. 2022 The team’s ringleader was a lanky man named Pieter Cullis who had intended to become an experimental physicist, not a biochemist. New York Times, 15 Jan. 2022 With a lanky 6-foot frame, Eldridge was already the team’s top blocker last season and has been working on timing her attacks with setter Mason Kelly. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 The lanky former Princeton basketball player instead takes a seat at the round conference table, ready to converse. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 The fourth-rounder is a lanky 5-11, 175 with excellent quickness and aggressiveness. Globe Staff,, 20 July 2022 Beneath a maple tree by a red brick elementary school in Brooklyn, a lanky, recognizable figure lingered on a recent morning, hoping to catch the attention of moms, dads, the grounds worker mowing the lawn. New York Times, 18 June 2022 Huntsman is lanky, with sharp blue eyes and a pair of fierce dachshunds. The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of lanky

circa 1818, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of lanky was circa 1818

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lanky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for lanky


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

Kids Definition of lanky

: very tall and thin a lanky teenager

More from Merriam-Webster on lanky

Nglish: Translation of lanky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lanky for Arabic Speakers


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