Definition of rickety in English:

rickety

adjective

  • 1(of a structure or piece of equipment) poorly made and likely to collapse:

    ‘we went carefully up the rickety stairs’
    figurative ‘a rickety banking system’
    • ‘He carries three twelve-pack cartons of beer across the yard to the house, climbs the front stairs and walks gingerly across the rickety veranda.’
    • ‘She then directed them to the fourth floor, giving them the choice of the stairs or a rickety lift.’
    • ‘That would put an enormous stress on the rickety structure of Australia's political parties.’
    • ‘We knew that finishing the house would mean living through winter in a rickety, poorly insulated travel trailer.’
    • ‘Likewise, when they compare the high-speed TGV to the rickety transport system we have here, the value of a strong, responsible state becomes apparent.’
    • ‘And despite the best efforts of the socialist government, large-scale commercialisation overshadows the country's rickety network of tour operators.’
    • ‘Back in Calgary the next day, we scramble across town on the rickety C-train to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology where logistics for the protest are being planned.’
    • ‘And there's a further subtext to Tomb Raider - that rickety Third World technology is no match for the might of imperialist implements of destruction.’
    • ‘And while there is some room for growth in this figure, we can guess that the system is a bit rickety and could be easily overwhelmed if the effort was concentrated.’
    • ‘You take a rickety bus bursting with rural folk at Meerut, which, after a precarious drive down a virtually unpaved road dumps you at an unusual sounding place called Chhota Mawana More.’
    • ‘After decades of rickety governments cobbled together from small parties, the 1997 constitution encourages larger and more stable groupings.’
    • ‘Everyone knew that the stairs were rickety, that everything was old and rotting!’
    • ‘Countless times both of our pagers would go off and we'd tear down the rickety apartment stairs and he'd drive us both to the station.’
    • ‘Meanwhile Tent City, the rickety collection of 50 squatter homes on the waterfront, was cleared away, and residents were offered temporary housing.’
    • ‘Rather, poorly lit stairways, rickety bed frames, dirty sex aids and repetitive movement injuries are among the chief dangers brothel workers face in New South Wales.’
    • ‘But you did actually go back and ascend this rather rickety structure and made some interesting discoveries.’
    • ‘While we were tooling around up at the top of the ancient rickety ski lifts, I just had to check out the winching mechanism for tensioning the lift cables.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you can always stay at our pension, Na Louzi, which is truly Bohemian, a woody little place with rickety stairs and a dozen styles of ancient door lock and handle.’
    • ‘We head up a rickety flight of stairs, pass through a wooden door, and suddenly my jaw drops open.’
    • ‘Climbing the rickety wooden stairs we were welcomed into the company of the pipe player, impressive in his traditional costume, his cheeks puffed from the playing of his bagpipes.’
    shaky, unsteady, unsound, unsafe, tottering, crumbling, decaying, disintegrating, tumbledown, broken-down, dilapidated, ramshackle, derelict, ruinous, falling to pieces, decrepit
    shambly, geriatric
    shacky
    rumpty
    View synonyms
  • 2Affected by rickets:

    ‘poverty was evident in undernourished faces or rickety legs’

Origin

Late 17th century: from rickets + -y.

Pronunciation:

rickety

/ˈrɪkɪti/