\ 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

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 The lanky wing took several campus tours last month, including Louisville. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Big Board 2.0: Updated look at Class of 2019 prospects on Louisville basketball's wish list," 10 July 2018 Standing a lanky 6-10, Isner’s games’ always been dominated by his serve, which is similar for Anderson. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "While not always popular among fans, John Isner has aced his way to Wimbledon semis," 12 July 2018 France began an alliance with Charles Moneypenny, a lanky, slow-talking Daytona Beach city engineer known by the driver Mario Andretti for wearing tennis shoes with business suits. Dave Caldwell, New York Times, "The Forgotten Figure Behind Daytona International Speedway," 7 July 2018 Julian Borst flew down the home straight at the Husky Outdoor Track, auburn mane flopping in rhythm with his easy gait as the crowd cheered on this lanky athlete who was very clearly running away with the victory. Stefanie Loh, The Seattle Times, "As a new Special Olympics USA Games men’s 5,000m champ is crowned, a rivalry blooms," 2 July 2018 Svi Mykhailiuk, Los Angeles’ second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft, is 6-foot-8, lanky and wears a scruffy beard. Ethan Bauer,, "Lakers open summer league in inaugural California Classic," 2 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

6 Sep 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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