\ˈlaŋ-kē \
lankier; lankiest

Definition of lanky 

: ungracefully tall and thin

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Other Words from lanky

lankily \ ˈlaŋ-​kə-​lē \ adverb
lankiness \ ˈlaŋ-​kē-​nəs \ 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

Both are lanky, impactful defenders with developing offensive skill sets. Jeremy Woo,, "Lottery Picks, Key Returners and Summer League Storylines to Watch," 6 July 2018 The lanky lefty has yielded two runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts and is 4-0 with an 0.63 ERA over his last four outings, two against the Astros. Scott Orgera,, "Blake Snell dazzles as Rays blank Mets 3-0," 7 July 2018 Bruce Kison, the lanky right-hander who was part of two Pittsburgh Pirates World Series-winning teams in 1971 and 1979, died Saturday at the age of 68. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Two-time World Series champion Bruce Kison dies at 68," 4 June 2018 Andrew Miller, Indians Jon Tayler: The year after Miller broke the bullpen (or at least the postseason), the lanky lefty was slightly more human, as a knee injury cost him a few weeks, and his control took a slight dip. Staff,, "SI's Top 100 MLB Players of 2018: Nos. 100–51," 12 Feb. 2018 But at Spurs draft headquarters, general manager R.C. Buford and the rest of the gang couldn’t wait to start developing the lanky kid from Northeastern Europe. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Bertans’ success with Spurs helps basketball grow in Latvia," 26 Jan. 2018 Roberts’ movement has a really gratifying way of being lanky and a bit unwieldy in some moments, playing out the extended riffs of each section of the score, then reining it all in for crisp, unison choruses. Lauren Warnecke,, "Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is magnificent, but that ‘Golden Section's’ gotta go," 8 Mar. 2018 Both are tall — Isner’s 6 foot 10 inches, Anderson 6-8 — and lanky. Howard Fendrich,, "Kevin Anderson outlasts John Isner in second-longest match in Wimbledon history," 13 July 2018 No, the man described by police as tall and lanky didn’t steal a bunch of undies. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "He wore underwear for the break-in — but not in the right place, video shows," 12 July 2018

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

1 Nov 2018

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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 \
lankier; lankiest

Kids Definition of lanky

: very tall and thin a lanky teenager

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Comments on lanky

What made you want to look up lanky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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