There are 2 main definitions of gaunt in English:

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gaunt 1

Pronunciation: /ɡɔːnt/


1(Of a person) lean and haggard, especially because of suffering, hunger, or age: a tall, gaunt woman in black
More example sentences
  • She was gaunt, painfully thin, expressionless, wearing a sleeveless top, dark pants, and sandals.
  • Its twisted trunk and mangled branches resembled a terrifyingly gaunt person arching their back in immense agony.
  • He is a fair, gaunt man of Norwegian extraction, an international lawyer I think, and has a careful, courteous manner.
as thin as a rake, as thin as a reed, without an ounce of fat
informal looking like death warmed up, looking like a bag of bones
archaic starveling
1.1(Of a building or place) grim or desolate in appearance: gaunt tenement blocks
More example sentences
  • The tall buildings flickered with a glow of white, gaunt towers rising like obelisks in the night thrusting towards a heaven that would forever elude them.
  • Wherever I played football, the huge gaunt stadium was always the touchstone of my career, the place where I came home to show my people that I could still do the job.
  • He juxtaposes these gaunt scenes with striking black-and-white shots of beaches and landscape.
bleak, stark, barren, bare, drab, desolate, dreary, dismal, gloomy, sombre, forlorn, grim, stern, harsh, forbidding, uninviting, unwelcoming, cheerless



Example sentences
  • It starts with some poets, gauntly tubercular sorts with laudanum habits and loose-fitting shirts.
  • The style is often lightly conversational, yet it is a gauntly powerful book.
  • The figure at Dick's bedside seems initially different, as he wakes ‘to find hunger standing at my bedside, staring at me gauntly’.


Pronunciation: /ˈɡɔːntnəs/
Example sentences
  • His face is thin nearly to gauntness, and covered with sad lines.
  • He cocked his head and looked down at her, noting for the first time the shadows beneath her eyes, the gauntness of her cheeks.
  • He looked up as we approached and I was momentarily shocked by the gauntness, the almost metallic grayness that dusted what had once been a tawny coat.


Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with gaunt

avaunt, daunt, flaunt, haunt, jaunt, taunt, vaunt
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There are 2 main definitions of gaunt in English:

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Gaunt 2

Pronunciation: /ɡɔːnt/
Former name for Ghent.
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