An example of gaunt is the appearance of someone who hasn’t eaten enough for many weeks.
Other Word Forms
Origin of gaunt
- Middle English perhaps from Old French gant possibly of Scandinavian origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English gawnt, gawnte (“lean, slender”), from Old French, probably from a Scandinavian source, related to Old Norse gandr (“magic staff, stick”), from Proto-Germanic *gandaz (“stick, staff”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰen- (“to beat, hit, drive”). Cognate with Icelandic gandur (“magic staff”), Norwegian gand (“tall pointed stick; tall, thin man”), Danish gand, gan, Norwegian gana (“cut-off tree limbs”), Bavarian Gunten (“a kind of wedge or peg”). Related also to Old English gūþ (“battle”), Latin dēfendō (“ward off, defend”). Compare also Swedish dialectal gank (“a lean, emaciated horse”).