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See more synonyms for gangling on Thesaurus.com
  1. awkwardly tall and spindly; lank and loosely built.
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Also gangly.

Origin of gangling

1800–10; akin to obsolete gangrel gangling person; cf. gang1


[gang-guh l]
verb (used without object), gan·gled, gan·gling.
  1. to move awkwardly or ungracefully: A tall, stiff-jointed man gangled past.
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Origin of gangle

First recorded in 1965–70; back formation from gangling
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for gangling

Historical Examples

  • Four years there did the work for the gangling, silent mountaineer.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • It was the first joke the gangling innovator had perpetrated.

    The Brown Mouse

    Herbert Quick

  • The rest were children, from gangling adolescents to one mere infant in arms.

    Nightmare Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • Look a that gangling country jay, he muttered in Osgoods ear.

  • Long, lean and hollow cheeked, the term "gangling" fits him better than any other.

British Dictionary definitions for gangling


gangly (ˈɡæŋɡlɪ)

  1. tall, lanky, and awkward in movement
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Word Origin

perhaps related to gangrel; see gang ²
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

Word Origin and History for gangling


by 1812, a frequentative of gang in some sense involving looseness.

GANGLING. Tall, slender, delicate, generally applied to plants. Warw. [James O. Halliwell, "A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words," 1846]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper