- The definition of ramshackle is something that is badly in need of repair or that is likely to fall apart.
A house with boarded up windows and a sagging foundation that could fall over at any time is an example of a ramshackle house.
A ramshackle house.
Origin of ramshackleback-formation ; from ramshackled, for earlier ransackled, past participle of ransackle, frequentative of ransack
Origin of ramshackleBack-formation from obsolete ranshackled, ramshackle, alteration of ransackled, past participle of ransackle, to ransack, frequentative of Middle English ransaken, to pillage; see ransack.
(comparative more ramshackle, superlative most ramshackle)
- In disrepair or disorder; poorly maintained; lacking upkeep, usually of buildings or vehicles.
- They stayed in a ramshackle cabin on the beach.
- He entered the ramshackle bus, and was driven a long distance through very sandy streets to the hotel on the St. Lawrence.
- 2012 September 7, Dominic Fifield, “England start World Cup campaign with five-goal romp against Moldova”, The Guardian:
- So ramshackle was the locals' attempt at defence that, with energetic wingers pouring into the space behind panicked full-backs and centre-halves dizzied by England's movement, it was cruel to behold at times. The contest did not extend beyond the half-hour mark.
First attested 1830, back-formation from ramshackled, from ransackled, past participle of ransackle (“to ransack”), frequentative of Middle English ransaken (“to pillage”).