Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Long and lean. synonym: lean.
  • adjective Long, straight, and limp.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The groin.
  • Meagerly slim; attenuated; lean; gaunt: as, a tall, lank man.
  • Loose or lax and yielding readily to pressure; not distended; shrunken; shriveled: as, a lank sack or purse.
  • Straight and flat, as hair.
  • Languid; drooping.
  • To grow or become lank or thin.
  • noun Lankness; leanness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb obsolete To become lank; to make lank.
  • adjective Slender and thin; not well filled out; not plump; shrunken; lean.
  • adjective obsolete Languid; drooping.
  • adjective long, thin hair.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Slender or thin; not well filled out; not plump; shrunken; lean.
  • adjective of hair Straight and flat; thin and limp. (often associated with being greasy)
  • adjective obsolete languid; drooping.
  • verb rare To become lank; to make lank.

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

  • adjective long and thin and often limp
  • adjective long and lean

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English hlanc.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English hlanc; confer German lenken ("to turn"), gelenk ("joint"), Old High German hlanca ("hip, side, flank"), and English link (of a chain).

Examples

  • And a smile played round my lips as I recalled his lank yellow hair (often standing on end), his sloping shoulders and his female hands -- a strange appearance which a certain vivacity of mind sometimes rendered engaging.

    Muslin

  • Sunburnt and tall and kind of lank, but good-lookin '.

    The Way of the Wind

  • Mr Barker suggested if they were going to "knife the Rubbish from Rio" then Mr Sono would be the perfect person to do it as he had "lank" experience of getting rid of Bafana coaches just before World Cups.

    IOL: News

  • 84 Pikes: A powerful, toothed fish, of gaunt build ( "lank"), found in streams, lakes and moats, noted for its cannibalism.

    The Beggar's Opera

  • Bunches of leared cattle – who stay content in familiar areas – graze the lank grass and prickly gorse of East Moor.

    Country diary: North Hill, Cornwall

  • In fact, watching a deflated Van Damme shuffling around in the snow, his mullet lank and unwashed, his face ravaged by time is a genuinely unpleasant experience.

    The Hard Sell: Coors Light

  • My hair was lank and stringy; no doubt I even smelled bad.

    The Dark Side of Innocence

  • Her thin, lank hair thickened and flourished, and roses bloomed in her milky cheeks.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • Her thin, lank hair thickened and flourished, and roses bloomed in her milky cheeks.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • Cara squinted out the half-opened window, brushing back a strand of lank brown hair.

    Choker

Comments

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  • The Century Dictionary's definition of lank as "the groin" colors the other definitions given.

    October 1, 2011