- ramshackle (adj.) 1809, back-formation from ramshackled, earlier ranshackled (1670s), alteration of ransackled, pp. of ransackle (see RANSACK (Cf. ransack)). The word seems to have been regarded as 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."
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Ramshackle — Ram shac*kle (r[a^]m sh[a^]k*k l), a. [Etymol. uncertain.] Loose; disjointed; falling to pieces; out of repair. [1913 Webster] There came . . . my lord the cardinal, in his ramshackle coach. Thackeray. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
ramshackle — [ram′shak΄əl] adj. [back form. < ramshackled, for earlier ransackled, pp. of ransackle, freq. of RANSACK] loose and rickety; likely to fall to pieces; shaky [a ramshackle old building] … English World dictionary
Ramshackle — Ram shac*kle, v. t. To search or ransack; to rummage. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
ramshackle — index dilapidated Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 … Law dictionary
ramshackle — [adj] falling apart; in poor condition broken down, crumbling, decrepit, derelict, dilapidated, flimsy, jerry built*, rickety, shabby, shaky, tottering, tumble down, unfirm, unsafe, unsteady; concepts 485,488 Ant. good, nice, repaired, stable … New thesaurus
ramshackle — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ in a state of severe disrepair. ORIGIN from obsolete ransackled «ransacked» … English terms dictionary
ramshackle — [[t]ræ̱mʃæk(ə)l[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n A ramshackle building is badly made or in bad condition, and looks as if it is likely to fall down. They entered the shop, which was a curious ramshackle building. Syn: tumbledown 2) ADJ GRADED: usu… … English dictionary
ramshackle — ram|shack|le [ˈræmʃækəl] adj [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: ransack] a ramshackle building or vehicle is in bad condition and in need of repair = ↑tumbledown ▪ a ramshackle old cottage … Dictionary of contemporary English
ramshackle — adjective a ramshackle building or vehicle is in bad condition and in need of repair: a ramshackle old farmhouse … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
ramshackle — adjective Etymology: alteration of earlier ransackled, from past participle of obsolete ransackle, frequentative of ransack Date: 1830 1. appearing ready to collapse ; rickety 2. carelessly or loosely constructed < a ramshackle plot > … New Collegiate Dictionary