Definition of ramshackle in English:



  • (especially of a house or vehicle) in a state of severe disrepair.

    ‘a ramshackle cottage’
    • ‘Just upstream, behind a clump of trees rose a ramshackle spire; standing in dignified disrepair.’
    • ‘Wide expanses of countryside are uninhabited save for the occasional ramshackle farmhouse.’
    • ‘Instead of fleeing he walked right into the house next door and calmly walked into a ramshackle apartment he had hired there.’
    • ‘Here I was in this tiny ramshackle village, St Paul's, the complete antithesis of the metropolis.’
    • ‘I was living in a ramshackle house that had been given an unenthusiastic upgrade.’
    • ‘The soldier entered the ramshackle beach house, which lay apart from the main camp of tents.’
    • ‘Most of the houses in the settlement still had ramshackle wooden or corrugated iron structures in their backyards.’
    • ‘Off to one side was a gray, derelict, ramshackle house that looked ready to fall down.’
    • ‘Lewis Blayse lives alone in a ramshackle house in the country.’
    • ‘It is at his ramshackle house that the game takes place, with Nora filling the men's glasses from time to time.’
    • ‘When I was a small child, we lived in a ramshackle house with an old pressed tin roof.’
    • ‘Deep gullies run between the ramshackle dirt houses carrying away sewage in the open.’
    • ‘I reached his ramshackle lean-to, promptly leaned against my usual beam and opened the folded papers.’
    • ‘They are renting a remote, ramshackle house near the coast for the summer.’
    • ‘Beyond the fence is an apparently ramshackle dwelling with a sagging roof and peeling white pigment on the sides.’
    • ‘The Blunt family home was a large, ramshackle house with an untended and brambly garden.’
    • ‘A makeshift wooden bridge is the only access to the ramshackle dwelling leading from the road.’
    • ‘The Main was little more than a ramshackle row of sausage-sandwich delis with butchered animals in the window.’
    • ‘The action of the play takes place in a remote ramshackle beach house built on sand dunes.’
    • ‘Then a bit of back road took us past ramshackle sheds and the gilded gates of Cawton Cottage, which is huge and not a cottage.’
    tumbledown, dilapidated, derelict, ruinous, falling to pieces, decrepit, neglected, gone to rack and ruin, run down, crumbling, decaying, disintegrating, rickety, shaky, unsteady, broken down, unsound, unsafe
    shambly, geriatric
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Early 19th century (originally dialect in the sense ‘irregular, disorderly’): alteration of earlier ramshackled, altered form of obsolete ransackled ‘ransacked’.