- loosely made or held together; rickety; shaky: a ramshackle house.
Origin of ramshackle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for ramshackle on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ramshackle
They set out a strong set of “best practices” to modernize and improve the ramshackle way our democracy runs elections.A Bipartisan Path to Fixing America’s Broken Elections
January 24, 2014
Passing this unworkable, ramshackle bill is counterproductive or irrelevant to that task."Kill the Bill"
July 9, 2013
Houses, some grand, others ramshackle, sit empty, cars in driveways.Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup Bogged Down in Bureaucracy, Could Take Decades
March 11, 2013
The main underlying cause of Election Day chaos remains our ramshackle voter registration system.Obama Needs to Embrace Voting Reform in 2013 State of the Union
Michael Waldman, Lawrence Norden
February 12, 2013
Perhaps the biggest problem in election administration today is that we are using an outdated, ramshackle registration system.After Voter-ID Wars, What Next? A Truce Through Modernization.
September 1, 2012
His ramshackle dwelling was an eighth of a mile from the Gould-Hamilton place.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
There was one idle and worthless journeyman in the ramshackle office, and one only.
Paul felt as if the ramshackle building had been out at sea.
It was a ramshackle affair of four streets and sixteen saloons.Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
I looked round, but the ramshackle cart was hidden by the turn of the road.The Wonder
J. D. Beresford
- (esp of buildings) badly constructed or maintained; rickety, shaky, or derelict
Word Origin and History for ramshackle
1809, back-formation from ramshackled, earlier ranshackled (1670s), alteration of ransackled, past participle of ransackle (see ransack). The word seems to have been Scottish.
Reading over this note to an American gentleman, he seemed to take alarm, lest the word ramshackle should be palmed on his country. I take it home willingly, as a Scotticism, and one well applied, as may be afterwards shown. [Robert Gourlay, "General Introduction to a Statistical Account of Upper Canada," London, 1822]
Jamieson's "Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language" (1825) has it as a noun meaning "thoughtless, ignorant fellow."