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[leen-too] /ˈlinˌtu/
noun, plural lean-tos.
a shack or shed supported at one side by trees or posts and having an inclined roof.
a roof of a single pitch with the higher end abutting a wall or larger building.
a structure with such a roof.
Origin of lean-to
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; noun use of verb phrase lean to Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lean-to
Historical Examples
  • I guess I'll take my bed up there; that lean-to is awful hot.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Arizona galloped her up to the house and rounded the lean-to in which Joe slept.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • And while these things were going on Arizona and Joe shared the hospitality of the lean-to.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • With this object in view she went down-stairs and visited the lean-to.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Billy kept to his lean-to, when away from the government house.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock
  • She always sat beside him on the original settle against the lean-to.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • Hanging down from the top of the cliff, they form a sort of lean-to.

    The Rover Boys on a Hunt Arthur M. Winfield (Edward Stratemeyer)
  • With the best haste he could make he hurried back to the lean-to.

    Left on the Labrador Dillon Wallace
  • It also had a "lean-to," or low ell, attached to the larger part.

    The Kentucky Ranger Edward T. Curnick
  • How shall we be able to sleep in a lean-to on a night like this.

British Dictionary definitions for lean-to


noun (pl) -tos
a roof that has a single slope with its upper edge adjoining a wall or building
a shed or outbuilding with such a roof
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lean-to

"building whose rafters pitch against another building or wall," mid-15c., from lean (v.) + to.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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