Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A roughly built, often ramshackle cabin; a shack.
  • n. Variant of chantey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A roughly-built hut or cabin.
  • n. A rudimentary or improvised dwelling, especially one not legally owned.
  • n. An unlicenced pub.
  • adj. Living in shanties; poor, ill-mannered and violent.
  • v. To inhabit a shanty.
  • n. A sailor′s work song.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Jaunty; showy.
  • n. A small, mean dwelling; a rough, slight building for temporary use; a hut.
  • intransitive v. To inhabit a shanty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Jaunty; gay; showy.
  • To live in a shanty, as lumbermen do: common in Manitoba and the lumber regions of North America.
  • To visit the grog-shanty habitually; drink frequently or habitually at a public-house.
  • n. A hut or mean dwelling; a temporary building of rough and flimsy character, Compare boist.
  • n. A public house, or place where liquor is sold.
  • n. A song with a boisterous chorus, sung by sailors while heaving at the capstan or windlass or hoisting up heavy weights, to enable them to pull or heave together in time with the song.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors
  • n. small crude shelter used as a dwelling

Etymologies

Probably from Canadian French chantier, hut in a lumber camp, from French, timberyard, from Old French, gantry, from Latin canthērius, rafter, nag, from Greek kanthēlios, pack ass.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French chantier. (Wiktionary)
From French chantez, imperative of chanter ("to sing"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • sailors singing shanties and living a hearty and rough life at sea

    November 20, 2010

  • Also a shelter hauled out onto a frozen lake and left there during the ice fishing season...some of them are anything but crude. Some have fully stocked bars, television, beds, easy chairs. The fishermen fish through the ice via holes in the floor. My father has a collapsible portable one that he hauls back and forth with his snowmobile each time he goes fishing. He is of the fishing school of ice fishermen as opposed to the drinking and partying school of ice fishermen.

    February 29, 2008

  • We set to sail on a packet full of spice, rum, and tea-leaves.
    We've emptied out all the bars and the Bowery Hotel.
    Tell your daughters do not walk the streets alone tonight

    September 18, 2007