Gangly - Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Gangly - Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Gangly meaning refers to someone who is tall, thin, and awkward in their appearance or movements, often due to a growth spurt.

History of the Word Gangly

Early Usage

The word gangly has its roots in the Scots dialect and emerged in the 19th century. It was used to describe individuals, often young people, who were tall, thin, and somewhat awkward in their appearance and movements. This term was typically applied to individuals experiencing rapid growth during adolescence, particularly during growth spurts.


Over time, gangly expanded beyond physical descriptions and came to connote not just a lanky and awkward appearance but also a sense of clumsiness or ungainliness in one's actions. It describes a person who is still growing into their body and hasn't fully coordinated their movements.

Modern Usage

Today, gangly is a descriptive adjective used to refer to people, usually young adults or teenagers, who have long limbs and a somewhat awkward or ungainly appearance. It's a term used in a lighthearted or endearing manner to describe individuals who are in the midst of a growth spurt.

English (Gangly As Adjective)


Gangly originates from the Scots dialect, describing tall, thin, and awkward individuals, especially during growth spurts.


Pronounced as /gang-lee/.

Forms of Gangly

Adjective Gangly
Comparative Degree  more Gangly
Superlative Degree  most Gangly
Adverb Gangly
Noun Gangliness

Derived Terms

  • Gangliness
  • Ganglier
  • Gangliest

Translations of Gangly

  • Gangly meaning in Hindi: लाकड़हारा (Lākaṛhārā)
  • Urdu: لکڑہارا (Lakṛhārā)
  • Spanish: Desgarbado
  • French: Dégingandé
  • German: Schlaksig
  • Italian: Slanciato
  • Portuguese: Desajeitado
  • Russian: Худосочный (Khudosochnyy)
  • Chinese (Simplified): 瘦长的 (Shòu cháng de)
  • Japanese: ガタイの悪い (Gatai no warui)
  • Arabic: طويل القامة و ضعيف البنية (Ṭawīl alqāma wa ḍaʿīf albinayā)
  • Korean: 길쭉한 (Giljjukhan)


  • Lanky
  • Lean
  • Skinny
  • Awkward
  • Ungainly
  • Slender
  • Thin
  • Gawkish
  • Bony
  • Slouchy
  • Gaunt
  • Beanpole
  • Long-limbed
  • Angular
  • Gangling
  • Spindly
  • Skeletal
  • Stick-like
  • Tall and thin


  • Sturdy
  • Stocky
  • Well-proportioned
  • Compact
  • Muscular

Examples of Gangly

  • During his growth spurt, he became tall and gangly.
  • The gangly teenager struggled to coordinate his movements.
  • She laughed at her gangly appearance during adolescence.

FAQs (People May Also Ask)

Where does the term gangly originate?

Gangly has its roots in the Scots dialect, describing tall, thin individuals, particularly during growth spurts.

Is gangly only used to describe physical appearance?

No, it also implies clumsiness or ungainliness in one's actions, often used in a lighthearted or endearing way.

Who is typically described as gangly?

Gangly is often used to describe young adults or teenagers who are experiencing a growth spurt, resulting in a lanky and awkward appearance.

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