Definition of shanty in US English:



  • A small, crudely built shack.

    • ‘The sight took me back 25 years, to my university town, watching African women walking down from the hills, through the centre where our university residences were, on their way to their shanties on the outskirts.’
    • ‘It was all right for you to live in shanties and not to have any voice in what's going on, but now you have.’
    • ‘Squatters' shanties can be found on the fringes of the cities.’
    • ‘Moreover, for at least thirty years, Portland had two Chinatowns, one an urban community of brick structures and the other one a vegetable-gardening community of wooden huts and shanties.’
    • ‘The poorest peasants and urban dwellers build their own adobe huts or wooden shanties.’
    • ‘A variety of shanties and shelters can be attached to these houses as households engage in petty commerce and services.’
    • ‘His house is roofless and a small shanty next to it serves as a shelter.’
    • ‘Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small-arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members.’
    • ‘As growth continued, substantial brick and stone buildings replaced frontier tents and shanties.’
    • ‘Ordinarily lame and mundane places like rotary clubs transform into shanties of shock and mazes of monstrosity.’
    • ‘Now those people live close to his village in shanties.’
    • ‘In Casablanca, the other half lives in areas like Sidi Moumen, a sprawling residential zone that is mostly shanties, home to 200,000.’
    • ‘However, immigrant workers from other African countries often live in shanties that ring these and other cities.’
    • ‘As Noel kept up a commentary on his life in the aborigine reservations, he also showed pictures of how tin shanties and flimsy tents were the ‘homes’ of the aborigines for the better part of the 20th century.’
    • ‘There are drooping shanties, skinny dogs and an old man bent over his plants.’
    • ‘Following an extension of deadline and several warnings, the state, on June 14, razed hundreds of shanties in the beach area.’
    • ‘Cite Soleil, the capital's front door, is a 27 sq mile slum where an estimated one million people live in shanties lacking plumbing, electricity or permanent roofs.’
    • ‘This group of people living in subterranean shanties are proof that, as one of them says in the film, ‘homeless doesn't mean helpless.’’
    • ‘They set up their humble shanties at the confluence of the Lumpur and Klang rivers (In fact, Kuala Lumpur means a ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay).’
    • ‘They were replaced by shanties and shacks built of nothing more than clapboard or wattle and daub with dark and threatening alleyways between.’
    shack, hut, cabin, lean-to, shed
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Early 19th century (originally a North American usage): perhaps from Canadian French chantier ‘lumberjack's cabin, logging camp’.