[ rik-i-tee ]
/ ˈrɪk ɪ ti /

adjective, rick·et·i·er, rick·et·i·est.

likely to fall or collapse; shaky: a rickety chair.
feeble in the joints; tottering; infirm: a rickety old man.
old, dilapidated, or in disrepair.
irregular, as motion or action.
affected with or suffering from rickets.
pertaining to or of the nature of rickets.

Origin of rickety

First recorded in 1675–85; ricket(s) + -y1
Related formsrick·et·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rickety

British Dictionary definitions for rickety


/ (ˈrɪkɪtɪ) /


(of a structure, piece of furniture, etc) likely to collapse or break; shaky
feeble with age or illness; infirm
relating to, resembling, or afflicted with rickets
Derived Formsricketiness, noun

Word Origin for rickety

C17: from rickets
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 rickety



"liable to fall down," 1680s, from rickets (with + -y (2)), via notion of "weak, unhealthy." Literal sense is from c.1720 but never common in English. Of material things, from 1799.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper