Thesaurus

lanky

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of lanky

being tall, thin and usually loose-jointed
  • the lanky basketball star was great at slam-dunking

Synonyms for lanky

Words Related to lanky

Near Antonyms for lanky

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About lanky

How does the adjective lanky contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of lanky are gaunt, lank, lean, rawboned, scrawny, skinny, and spare. While all these words mean "thin because of an absence of excess flesh," lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness.

a lanky youth, all arms and legs

When can gaunt be used instead of lanky?

Although the words gaunt and lanky have much in common, gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering.

a prisoner's gaunt face

When is lank a more appropriate choice than lanky?

The synonyms lank and lanky are sometimes interchangeable, but lank implies tallness as well as leanness.

the lank legs of the heron

When would lean be a good substitute for lanky?

The words lean and lanky can be used in similar contexts, but lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours.

a lean racehorse

When could rawboned be used to replace lanky?

While in some cases nearly identical to lanky, rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment.

a rawboned farmer

How do scrawny and skinny relate to one another, in the sense of lanky?

Both scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality.

a scrawny chicken

skinny street urchins

Where would spare be a reasonable alternative to lanky?

The meanings of spare and lanky largely overlap; however, spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise.

the gymnast's spare figure

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lanky

Time Traveler for lanky

Time Traveler

The first known use of lanky was circa 1818

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Lanky.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/lanky. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lanky

Dictionary: Definition of lanky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lanky

Spanish Central: Translation of lanky

Nglish: Translation of lanky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lanky for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lanky

What made you want to look up lanky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!