Definition of gangling in English:



  • (of a person) tall, thin, and awkward in movements or bearing.

    • ‘The gangling Frenchman fittingly won the match with an ace down the centre, taking the second-settie-break 7-3.’
    • ‘The on-form gangling striker-single handedly destroyed Bucks with all three goals in a 3-1 victory here last season.’
    • ‘But despite this huge talent, his idea of women as pencil thin, stone-faced gangling creatures is very scary.’
    • ‘He appears an excellent pick to train with the national squad but, with regard to the actual Scotland XV, he looks as yet still a bit too much of a gangling colt.’
    • ‘Will was tall, and a bit gangling, with black hair that was a little shaggy.’
    • ‘Watson was 24, an awkward, gangling American, whose hair, Bill has noted, ‘appears in photographs to be straining to attach itself to some powerful magnet just out of frame’.’
    • ‘The gangling forward may appear ungainly but he finished his run into the area to latch on to a through ball with a neat stab past him.’
    • ‘At times she's a gangling, anti-social adolescent, and at others a snobbish know-it-all, but she's always riveting.’
    • ‘The small fat arms that once clamped round my neck, the sturdy legs with muddy knees, are replaced with long gangling limbs that sprawl untidily, in sharp angles, across my sofa.’
    • ‘A tall, gangling figure, he simultaneously apologises, flings off his jacket, tells me why his breakfast meeting over-ran and checks his emails, all in a blur of long legs and dark blue suit.’
    • ‘Yet ‘Little George’, as he is known despite the fact that he is a tall gangling figure, is seen as a new force.’
    • ‘Two years or so ago he was a gangling schoolboy, but we have worked hard and he has worked hard.’
    • ‘Four years ago in Sydney, he was the gangling teenaged sensation, winning three golds and two silvers.’
    • ‘From the Millwall youth team, he overcame an 11-month injury and the scorn of fans who just couldn't see what the gangling teen had to offer.’
    • ‘He is also rather more than a stone heavier, and the raw-boned, gangling flanker of his championship-winning season of 1998 has metamorphosed into something more solid, more intimidating.’
    • ‘Staffers lunching in the building's canteen nod respectfully at this gangling, spectacled intruder.’
    • ‘A tall, gangling man with shaggy brown hair waved to her from his doorway, grinning broadly.’
    • ‘A tall gangling officer, wearing only his underwear, stood up and spread his arms out for quiet.’
    • ‘There was a balletic quality to the goal, yet he is a gangling figure.’
    • ‘He was a gangling teenage boy with a burning desire for a big game rifle of his own.’
    lanky, gangly, rangy, wiry, stringy, bony, angular, skinny, skin-and-bones, spindly, spindling, scrawny, thin, spare, gaunt, skeletal, size-zero
    loosely built, loosely jointed
    awkward, uncoordinated, ungainly, gawky, inelegant, graceless, ungraceful
    like a bag of bones
    View synonyms


Early 19th century: from the verb gang + -le + -ing.