from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. So poorly constructed or kept up that disintegration is likely; rickety: a ramshackle cabin in the woods.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. In disrepair or disorder; poorly maintained; lacking upkeep, usually of buildings or vehicles.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Loose; disjointed; falling to pieces; out of repair.
- transitive v. To search or ransack; to rummage.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Loose-jointed; ill-made; out of gear or repair; crazy; tumble-down; unregulated; chaotic.
- n. A thoughtless fellow.
- A corrupt form of ransack, confused with ramshackle.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. in deplorable condition
Back-formation from obsolete ranshackled, ramshackle, alteration of ransackled, past participle of ransackle, to ransack, frequentative of Middle English ransaken, to pillage; see ransack.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested 1830, back-formation from ramshackled, from ransackled, past participle of ransackle ("to ransack"), frequentative of Middle English ransaken ("to pillage"). (Wiktionary)