adj. gaunt·er, gaunt·est
1. Thin or emaciated: "Her smile took up ever more of her increasingly gaunt face" (Lindsey Crittenden). See Synonyms at lean2.
2. Bleak or desolate: "She walked along fast ... scared of ... the few shadowy people and the old gaunt houses with their wide inky doorways" (John Dos Passos).
[Middle English, perhaps from Old French gant, possibly of Scandinavian origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.