spin·​dly | \ ˈspin(d)-lē How to pronounce spindly (audio) , ˈspin-dᵊl-ē \
spindlier; spindliest

Definition of spindly

1 : of a disproportionately tall or long and thin appearance that often suggests physical weakness spindly legs
2 : 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 Shadows of the band swayed in the strobe lights while Murphy’s spindly arms were outstretched in the starched position of a crucifix. Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2022 The road meets the water at 1.8 miles where hikers may explore along the rocky banks and spindly velvet ash trees to spy trout swimming in deep pools. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2022 In the decades that followed, La Leona attracted other ramblers, becoming a staging ground for wide-eyed mountaineers headed up the spindly peaks that loom over the horizon, most notably Mount Fitz Roy. Mark Johanson, Travel + Leisure, 23 Apr. 2022 For the plants in pots, prune branches back to the edge of the pot or no longer than 6 inches and eliminate any spindly growth. oregonlive, 2 Apr. 2022 This has put at risk a historic Alaska fishery that during two boom years in the early 1990s tallied more than 300 million pounds of the green-eyed crustacean with spindly legs, hauls even greater than the highest years of the king crab harvests. Anchorage Daily News, 4 Apr. 2022 Air hands have square palms and long fingers and are often boney, with protruding knuckles and spindly fingers. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, 3 Jan. 2020 Sale’s spindly line work and splotchy blacks create an unnerving world for the characters, accentuated by Gregory Wright’s moody colors and Richard Starkings’s varied lettering. Joe George, Men's Health, 2 Mar. 2022 Overhead pictures show little more than a thin brown ribbon of dirt and mud winding through spindly trees along the Farewell Burn. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spindly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spindly

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spindly

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The first known use of spindly was in 1651

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spin doctor

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spindly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spindly. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spindly


spin·​dly | \ ˈspind-lē How to pronounce spindly (audio) \

Kids Definition of spindly

: being thin and long or tall and usually feeble or weak spindly legs a spindly plant

More from Merriam-Webster on spindly

Nglish: Translation of spindly for Spanish Speakers


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