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

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Examples of spindly in a Sentence

spindly, underfed dogs roamed the poverty-stricken village

Recent Examples on the Web

The robot has a whole lot of whizzy sensors and cameras, spindly mechanical legs, a creepy grabber arm that opens doors, and mind-bogglingly impressive robotics technology. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Boston Dynamics’ first consumer product might be a battle bot," 5 June 2019 Brown placed his hand on a spindly trunk, ordering me to follow his lead. Paula Moura, ProPublica, "Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing," 22 May 2019 Potassium helps promote vigorous growth and hardiness, so a deficit may result in wimpy fruit or spindly plants that fall prey to pests and diseases. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Here's How to Understand Fertilizer Numbers and Letters," 21 Mar. 2019 Through one window, a spindly tree threatened to burst into pink blossom; across the street, old-school Capitol Hill favorite The Crescent looked grungily great, its rainbow and American flags fluttering. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Feels like family: Seattle’s Dacha Diner might be your new favorite place," 29 Mar. 2019 But there are also aesthetic uses, as Cole demonstrates in a spindly minimalist thumb, making it more like a tattoo. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Robotic Extra Thumb Isn't Creepy at All," 7 July 2017 Every so often, a wool sheep is found that hasn’t been sheared for years, emerging from a cave or a remote mountain pass looking like a bulbous duster on spindly legs. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Fiber Optics: Wool Lovers Battle Animal-Rights Crowd Over Sheep Shearing," 7 Jan. 2019 Mark curing himself, an inspiration to us all—competing for screen time with dominatrix squads of heavily armed women with plastic bodies running around the streets of Marwen on spindly little legs and brightly colored stilettos. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Welcome to Marwen’ Review: An Excess of Fantasy," 20 Dec. 2018 When the spindly boy showed promise, his father and his first coach drilled him not only on proper strokes but on poise and court etiquette. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Arthur Ashe’ Review: A Hard Road to Glory," 17 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of spindly

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for spindly

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for spindly

The first known use of spindly was in 1651

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More Definitions for spindly



English Language Learners Definition of spindly

: long and thin and usually weak


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on spindly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spindly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spindly

Spanish Central: Translation of spindly

Nglish: Translation of spindly for Spanish Speakers

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