adjective, gaunt·er, gaunt·est.

extremely thin and bony; haggard and drawn, as from great hunger, weariness, or torture; emaciated.
bleak, desolate, or grim, as places or things: a gaunt, windswept landscape.

Origin of gaunt

1400–50; late Middle English, probably < Old French gaunet, jaunet yellowish, derivative of gaune, jaune yellow < Latin galbinus greenish-yellow
Related formsgaunt·ly, adverbgaunt·ness, noun

Synonyms for gaunt

Antonyms for gaunt

1. stout. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gauntly

Contemporary Examples of gauntly

Historical Examples of gauntly

  • He was as gauntly handsome as a Blackfoot—and they don't come any better-looking than that.

    Call Him Savage

    John Pollard

  • From the lower control room windows Gerry could see only drifted snow and naked boulders, and the gauntly lonely peaks.

    The Golden Amazons of Venus

    John Murray Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for gauntly



bony and emaciated in appearance
(of places) bleak or desolate
Derived Formsgauntly, adverbgauntness, noun

Word Origin for gaunt

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



mid-15c. (as a surname from mid-13c.), from Middle French gant, of uncertain origin; perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse gand "a thin stick," also "a tall thin man") and somehow connected with the root of gander. Connection also has been suggested to Old French jaunet "yellowish" [Middle English Dictionary].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper