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

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 leanto

Historical Examples of leanto

  • In making the leanto at home the lightest material should be used.

    Touring Afoot

    Claude Powell Fordyce

  • A leanto for the bivouacker can then be kept down to three pounds.

    Touring Afoot

    Claude Powell Fordyce

  • He must look out to be near plenty of firewood and leanto material.

    Touring Afoot

    Claude Powell Fordyce

  • Be careful not to set the leanto on fire with the sparks from your camp fire.

    Outdoor Sports and Games

    Claude H. Miller

  • The camp was simply a shed or leanto, open on one side, and in front of this shed the fire was built of beech and maple logs.

    Fifty Years a Hunter and Trapper

    Eldred Nathaniel Woodcock

British Dictionary definitions for leanto


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 leanto



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper