Is your house in terrible condition? Does the roof leak? Is it half tumbling down? Congratulations! It's ramshackle — in other words, in terrible condition and barely holding together.

If you think there's a similarity between a place that's been ransacked and a place that's ramshackle, you'd be right. Ramshackle comes from ransackle, an old 19th century term for "ransack." Although ramshackle is usually intended as a negative term, that's not always the case. Sometimes it can imply a certain cute picturesque quality. Buildings, places, and even some objects such as cars can be considered ramshackle.

Definitions of ramshackle
  1. adjective
    in deplorable condition
    “a ramshackle old pier”
    synonyms: bedraggled, broken-down, derelict, dilapidated, tatterdemalion, tumble-down
    harmed or injured or spoiled
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘ramshackle'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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