Definition of shack in English:



  • A roughly built hut or cabin.

    • ‘From numerous visits to the city and perhaps even periods of short-term residence or work, islanders know that many Tahitian families struggle to make a living and reside in squalid shacks.’
    • ‘From among a cluster of shacks and lean-to's and concrete outhouses, clinging to the central building like barnacles on an oyster, you could see the outlines of what had once been a magnificent palace.’
    • ‘And if they weren't houses then they were apartment buildings, or department stores, or supermarkets, or malls, or office buildings, or warehouses, or shacks, or kiosks, or maybe even tents.’
    • ‘Running around the sides of the shack is a roughly constructed porch, which can be reached via two short stairways.’
    • ‘In tents, shacks, log cabins and frame dwellings, pioneers gathered together for protection.’
    • ‘A few hundred yards up the beach ran a small line of shops and food shacks, and the tourists made for them.’
    • ‘Scattered across the dirt are the Vulture Mine's remnants: rusted equipment, tumbledown shacks, bunkhouses, corked whiskey bottles, and cracked furniture.’
    • ‘Others were shacks, inns, or just rows of shops.’
    • ‘It stood out like the Taj Mahal in a trailer camp as it was surrounded by what can only be described as windowless hovels and wooden shacks.’
    • ‘I saw it all around - the shacks, hovels, families collecting cow dung in the fields or breaking rocks for a new road.’
    • ‘By the late 1880s many Ojibwa lived in one-room log cabins, frame cabins, or tar paper shacks rather than in wigwams.’
    • ‘Beyond, above the corrugated iron roofs of the rum shacks, towered the great twin peaks of St. Lucia's two tropical Matterhorns, the pitons.’
    • ‘As the shacks turned to makeshift apartment buildings, the drug of choice shifted from marijuana to cocaine, and the weapons that the teenage boys carried soon became automatic rifles.’
    • ‘But neither they nor he wanted to stray too far from the collection of small-scale bungalows, shacks, and cabins that make up this mountain town's built context.’
    • ‘Where the status of a shack or a hut is concerned our concept of ‘house’ may simply fail to provide for a definite decision.’
    • ‘In Cairo, Egypt, the rooftops of countless buildings are crowded with makeshift tents, shacks and mud shelters.’
    • ‘It was more of a shack than a house, but still, a living accommodation.’
    • ‘The buildings soon turned from downtown shamble shacks to upscale skyscrapers, apartments, and business buildings.’
    • ‘They were replaced by shanties and shacks built of nothing more than clapboard or wattle and daub with dark and threatening alleyways between.’
    • ‘Even without seeing or experiencing the carnage first hand, its spirit floods the freeways and works its wounded presence into the pots and pans of the shacks and palaces nearby.’
    hut, shanty, cabin, log cabin, lean-to, shed
    bothy, shieling, shiel
    gunyah, mia-mia, humpy
    hogan, wickiup
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[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Move in or live with someone as a lover.

    • ‘She began, ‘Well, it looks like Ellie's shacking with my big brother tonight.’’
    • ‘The only way to live is to shack up with losers whose natural life expectancy isn't much more than a mayfly on a good day.’
    • ‘With formerly segregated genres shacking up like bunnies, and often producing smarter, more attractive offspring, electronic-emo-chamber-country just had to happen.’
    • ‘The cold-blooded little tramp shacked up with that guy there!’
    • ‘And if Kevin's such a jerk, why are you still shacking with him?’
    • ‘She always ends up shacking up with horrible men (not that the odds are good one way or another), and I feel she'd, naturally, be much more fortunate learning the virtue of her own gender.’
    • ‘Mostly, Kwan figures, that's because he shacked up with women he didn't love; he was with them because it meant that he wouldn't have to be on the street.’
    • ‘Plus, he and Sam are definitely full-tilt shacked up again so I think that he's staying at her place.’
    • ‘Living with Alice is so much more harmonious, she added, that the two of them have discussed making it permanent rather than shacking up with any more men.’
    • ‘As I mentioned earlier, there's absolutely no chemistry between Everett and Stone, so there seems to be no reason for her to ditch her husband and start shacking up with a spy.’
    • ‘I shacked up with a girl from my Reserve after that.’
    • ‘She'd gone to the wrong college, shacked up with the wrong man, and had denied herself the pleasure of having a child of her own.’
    • ‘This guy's wife is living in an upstate trailer while her ex-husband is shacking up with his buddy's widow.’
    • ‘Some 53% of Scots are so louche about love that they simply aren't bothering to tie the knot because shacking up together is cheaper.’
    • ‘But on the other hand, some rights probably do require some sign of consent and commitment beyond simply shacking up.’
    • ‘I know that I hurt Katelyn by shacking up with Mira so soon after her and I broke up, and part of me wanted more than anything to hurt Katelyn, the other half wanted to run back to her, and never leave her again.’
    • ‘So there's about six families all shacked up together right now.’
    • ‘But how do we explain this to our good friend Marina who apparently sees nothing wrong with shacking up in the living room of someone you have never met before?’
    • ‘It sounds a lot more like shacking up than marriage to me.’
    • ‘The companion bill changes over 100 Acts to eliminate all differences for legal purposes between marriage, civil union, and shacking up for a couple of nights with no particular plan to end the relationship.’
    cohabit, live with, live together, share a house
    live in sin, live over the brush
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Late 19th century: perhaps from Mexican jacal; see jacal. The early sense of the verb was live in a shack (originally a US usage).