Ramshackle Definition

Loose and rickety; likely to fall to pieces; shaky.
A ramshackle old building.
Webster's New World

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.

Origin of Ramshackle

  • Back-formation from obsolete ranshackled ramshackle alteration of ransackled past participle of ransackle to ransack frequentative of Middle English ransaken to pillage ransack

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • First attested 1830, back-formation from ramshackled, from ransackled, past participle of ransackle (“to ransack"), frequentative of Middle English ransaken (“to pillage").

    From Wiktionary

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