[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. lean and hungry look,
  2. lean on,
  3. lean over backwards,
  4. lean-burn,
  5. lean-faced,
  6. leander,
  7. leaner,
  8. leangle,
  9. leaning,
  10. leaning tower of pisa

Origin of lean-to

1425–75; late Middle English; noun use of verb phrase lean to

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lean-to

British Dictionary definitions for lean-to


noun plural -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

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