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[spind-lee] /ˈspɪnd li/
adjective, spindlier, spindliest.
long or tall, thin, and usually frail:
The colt wobbled on its spindly legs.
Origin of spindly
First recorded in 1645-55; spindle + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spindly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When they had mounted, spindly started off as suddenly as hours before it had stopped.

    The Phantom Yacht Carol Norton
  • Did you notice what prodigiously long fingers he had, and what spindly legs?

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • When he threw open his long, spindly arms and screeched a loud, "Ahh!"

    The Telenizer Don Thompson
  • This officer was over six foot, while I was a spindly little fellow.

    White Nights and Other Stories Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Pink touched the herons wings, its beak, its head, its glittering beady eyes and spindly leg.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
British Dictionary definitions for spindly


adjective -dlier, -dliest
tall, slender, and frail; attenuated
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spindly

1650s, from spindle + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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