adjective, lank·er, lank·est.

(of plants) unduly long and slender: lank grass; lank, leafless trees.
(of hair) straight and limp; without spring or curl.
lean; gaunt; thin.

Nearby words

  1. laniary,
  2. lanier,
  3. lanier, sidney,
  4. laniferous,
  5. lanikai,
  6. lankester,
  7. lankester, sir edwin ray,
  8. lankly,
  9. lanky,
  10. lanner

Origin of lank

before 1000; Middle English lanc, Old English hlanc; akin to Old High German hlanca loin, side. Cf. flank

Related formslank·ly, adverblank·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lank

British Dictionary definitions for lank




long and limp
thin or gaunt
Derived Formslankly, adverblankness, noun

Word Origin for lank

Old English hlanc loose

adjective, adverb

Southern African informal a lot; a great deal

Word Origin for lank

perhaps from Afrikaans lank long

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 lank



Old English hlanc "loose and empty, slender, flaccid," from Proto-Germanic *khlankaz, perhaps from a root meaning "flexible" (cf. German lenken "to bend, turn aside," Old Norse hlykkr "bend, noose, loop"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn" (see link (n.)). "Some examples may be long adj. with unvoicing of g" ["Middle English Dictionary"]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper