[ gawnt ]
See synonyms for gaunt on
adjective,gaunt·er, gaunt·est.
  1. extremely thin and bony; haggard and drawn, as from great hunger, weariness, or torture; emaciated.

  2. bleak, desolate, or grim, as places or things: a gaunt, windswept landscape.

Origin of gaunt

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, probably from Old French gaunet, jaunet “yellowish,” derivative of gaune, jaune “yellow,” from Latin galbinus “greenish-yellow”

synonym study For gaunt

1. See thin.

word story For gaunt

Gaunt was originally used to mean “slim, slender.” Until the early 18th century, this now obsolete sense existed alongside the current sense “extremely thin and bony.”
The etymology of gaunt is uncertain. It is a Middle English word (also spelled gant ) that may come from Old French gant, a possible variant of gaunet, jaunet “yellowish.” Other etymologists suggest a Scandinavian origin, such as Norwegian gand “a thin, pointed stick; a tall, thin man.”
John of Gaunt, a son of King Edward III and father of King Henry IV, was so named because he was born in the Flemish city of Ghent ( Gand in French, Gent in Flemish), corrupted to Gaunt in English.

Other words for gaunt

Opposites for gaunt

Other words from gaunt

  • gauntly, adverb
  • gauntness, noun

Words Nearby gaunt

Other definitions for Gaunt (2 of 2)

[ gawnt, gahnt ]

  1. John of. John of Gaunt. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gaunt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gaunt


/ (ɡɔːnt) /

  1. bony and emaciated in appearance

  2. (of places) bleak or desolate

Origin of gaunt

C15: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian dialect gand tall lean person

Derived forms of gaunt

  • gauntly, adverb
  • gauntness, noun

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