spin·​dly ˈspin(d)-lē How to pronounce spindly (audio)
spindlier; spindliest
: of a disproportionately tall or long and thin appearance that often suggests physical weakness
spindly legs
: frail or flimsy in appearance or structure
a spindly tower

Examples of spindly in a Sentence

spindly, underfed dogs roamed the poverty-stricken village
Recent Examples on the Web Stay away from spindly asparagus spears, especially those beginning to flower in the tips. Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2024 These beautiful animals are selectively bred to race, with massive hearts and lungs and spindly lightweight legs prone to breakage. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 10 May 2024 Replete with bubble-gum-pink pastels, vertigo-inducing oils and spindly bronzes, the exhibition is a reminder that art, at its best, is gripping, veiled in delicacy and calibrated to shock. Angelica Aboulhosn, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 Some neighborhoods are completely empty, apart from the spindly wooden legs meant to elevate homes away from floodwaters — the houses are long gone, but the legs still stand. Nidhi Sharma, NBC News, 18 Mar. 2024 Staring back from a glass enclosure is a monstrous bronze beast: a scaly humanoid with terrible fangs and spindly crab’s legs for whiskers. Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 21 Mar. 2024 About the length of a banana, olms have eel-like bodies and spindly legs. Elizabeth Anne Brown, New York Times, 12 Mar. 2024 Saint Maud’s protagonist was a spindly, religious health aide who imagined her body elongating and stretching in gory, supernatural ways. David Sims, The Atlantic, 12 Mar. 2024 The sequel features some of the most effective scares of the entire series, as the aforementioned Valak lends itself to some truly terrifying sequences, and the spindly Crooked Man (Javier Botet) and unsettlingly mundane Bill Wilkins (Bob Adrian) provide variety to the thrills. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 7 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spindly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spindly was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near spindly

Cite this Entry

“Spindly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spindly. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


spin·​dly ˈspin-(d)lē How to pronounce spindly (audio)
spindlier; spindliest
: of a tall or long and thin appearance that often suggests physical weakness
spindly legs

More from Merriam-Webster on spindly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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