\ 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

Twiggy, the lanky model who defined the look of swinging... Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, "Can You Pull Off a Beret if You’re Not French?," 4 Jan. 2019 Ali Sonko, the world’s most famous former dishwasher who worked his way up at Noma to become a partner in 2017, strolls up to the entrance, his lanky frame dressed in a sharp black suit. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Eat at Noma, One of the World’s Most Famous Restaurants," 21 Dec. 2018 Walsh was intrigued by the lanky kid with the enormous hands who caught anything remotely near him. Chris Ballard,, "In Montana, a 49ers Reunion for Dwight Clark," 2 May 2018 Two state troopers were handcuffing two lanky, bedraggled guys and had them leaning over the side of their rusted out Dodge Aspen, while two German shepherds sniffed the vehicle. Anne Slowey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fear and Self-Loathing in the American Southwest," 25 July 2018 Hutchison ably uses his lanky athleticism to bully defenders, and as the Broncos' sole playmaker, Hutchison is more than proficient at creating for himself while also finding scoring opportunities for his teammates. 22. Matthew Giles,, "Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft," 19 June 2018 MacKinnon had recently ran pick-up at his local YMCA back home in Chapel Hill, N.C., when a lanky African man approached him in between runs. Jake Fischer,, "George Galanopoulos's Unlikely Journey From Basketball Dreamer to Uganda Head Coach," 13 June 2018 One afternoon this summer, Kimbal Musk, a tall, lanky man in a cowboy hat, ducked in through the front door. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Kimbal Musk Is Reinventing Food One Shipping Container at a Time," 24 Oct. 2018 The couple then met up with some fashionable friends and, yup, that shirtless pale, lanky man on the left is Pete. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin and Ariana Grande's Fiancé, Pete Davidson, Hung Out and Things Got Weird," 7 Sep. 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

25 Jan 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 \
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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