from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Awkwardly tall or long-limbed; rangy: gangling adolescents.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Awkwardly tall and thin, ungraceful.
  • n. A member of a gang.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Awkward and sprawling in walking; loose-jointed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. tall and thin and having long slender limbs
  • adj. tall and thin


Perhaps from dialectal gang, to go, from Middle English gangen, from Old English gangan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from *gangle, from the dialectal gang ("to go, to walk, to proceed"). (Wiktionary)
From gang +‎ -ling. (Wiktionary)



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  • Haha! Nice verse bilbs, though I should probably be thanking Ogden Nash.

    July 28, 2009

  • This one is entering her teens,
    Ripe for sentimental scenes,
    Has picked a gangling unripe male,
    Sees herself in a bridal veil,
    Presses lips and tosses head,
    Declares she's not too young to wed,
    Informs you pertly you forget
    Romeo and Juliet.
    Do not argue, do not shout;
    Remind her how that one turned out.

    - Ogden Nash, 'The Romantic Age'.

    July 28, 2009