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lank

[langk] /læŋk/
adjective, lanker, lankest.
1.
(of plants) unduly long and slender:
lank grass; lank, leafless trees.
2.
(of hair) straight and limp; without spring or curl.
3.
lean; gaunt; thin.
Origin of lank
1000
before 1000; Middle English lanc, Old English hlanc; akin to Old High German hlanca loin, side. Cf. flank
Related forms
lankly, adverb
lankness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lank
Historical Examples
  • The lank man leaned forward and whispered some remonstrance in the ear of the young fellow, but his suggestion was waved aside.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • Perhaps the good Samaritan was lean and lank, and found it hard to live.

  • Charlie was indicating a lank stranger who was leaning on the bar, and talking to a dozen men who had gathered about him.

    The Road Builders Samuel Merwin
  • Sim cowered in a corner of the box, with his lank fingers in his long hair.

  • She was a lank, bare-ribbed, high-boned animal, long-eared like all of her race—for she belonged to the race of Rosinante.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • George, who was big and lank, and truculent in appearance, nodded.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • Then Jerome's lank outlines would begin to take on curves and the hungry look would disappear from his face.

    Jerome, A Poor Man Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • He was a lank, bony, yellow-faced man, with big intense eyes.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • Our visitor was a lank mortal in flannel shirt, blue cotton overalls, and the ordinary white felt hat of the country.

  • He was tall and he was lank and he was honest to his last bristling hair.

    Rim o' the World B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for lank

lank1

/læŋk/
adjective
1.
long and limp
2.
thin or gaunt
Derived Forms
lankly, adverb
lankness, noun
Word Origin
Old English hlanc loose

lank2

/læŋk/
adjective, adverb
1.
(South African, informal) a lot; a great deal
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for lank
adj.

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
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