\ 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 Walking out to the Ford Taurus, giggling with her tall, lanky, sweet Luke. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "‘Enjoying life to the fullest.’ IU cheerleader, Luke Recker’s ex-girlfriend deals with paralysis," 9 July 2020 The 6-foot-9 athletic marvel arrived on campus a lanky, raw project and left as the 2000 Wooden and Naismith Award winner. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, "Opinion: UC Bearcats beat writer Keith Jenkins' top-5 men's hoops players of all time," 6 July 2020 Arms raised high, Randall Hamilton slowly, slowly, slowly, lifted his lanky body out of the chair and walked to the hospital exit, his smile broadening with each step. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "'Look how far you've come': For some COVID patients recovery takes weeks or months," 10 June 2020 These Pacers and the lanky, trash-talking 29-year-old Miller had developed into the Knicks' nemesis. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Inside Madison Square Garden when Reggie Miller's 8 points in 8.9 seconds echoed round the world," 2 May 2020 But Garnett, a lanky and ferocious 19-year-old, made an immediate impact and would go on to become one of the most gifted big men in N.B.A. history. New York Times, "Kobe Bryant Headlines 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Class," 4 Apr. 2020 Scoobs, a soulful bull of a kid who ran a charter school in Harlem, and Mahonze, our ringer from Duluth, lanky and shy. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "My Year of Concussions," 4 Nov. 2019 Jalen Graham doesn't look much like the lanky true freshman that first stepped on the Arizona State campus eight or so months ago. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "True freshman Jalen Graham a big contributor for surging Sun Devils," 15 Feb. 2020 The experimental vision of the lanky, black-haired artist turned the Cars into an international phenomenon by straddling the line between his avant-garde interests and melodic, radio-friendly rock. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, "Ric Ocasek, frontman of the Cars, found dead in his Manhattan apartment," 16 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for lanky

Time Traveler

The first known use of lanky was circa 1818

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Statistics for lanky

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lanky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for lanky


How to pronounce lanky (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lanky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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