Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Likely to break or fall apart; shaky.
  • adjective Feeble with age; infirm.
  • adjective Of, having, or resembling rickets.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Affected with rickets.
  • Feeble in the joints; tottering; infirm; hence, in general, shaky; liable to fall or collapse, as a table, chair, bridge, etc.; figuratively, ill-sustained; weak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Affected with rickets.
  • adjective Feeble in the joints; imperfect; weak; shaky.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of an object: not strong or sturdy, as because of poor construction or upkeep; not safe or secure; giddy; shaky.
  • adjective Of a person: feeble in the joints; tottering.
  • adjective Affected with or suffering from rickets.

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

  • adjective lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality
  • adjective inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
  • adjective affected with, suffering from, or characteristic of rickets

Etymologies

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

[From rickets.]

Examples

  • I have one I haven't read yet (The Immortal, in rickety old hardback), which I'm sort of saving up, the way you save up the last shot of really fine whiskey.

    REVIEW: Last Defender of Camelot by Roger Zelazny

  • Exhibition games were played in rickety stadiums in front of only a handful of fans.

    USATODAY.com - Spring training has different look than in 1950s and 60s

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • Aged and poverty-stricken army officers would drive up to the doorstep behind rickety old horses and in rickety carryalls.

    The Girl from the Marsh Croft

  • This is the first time I've heard Russian hardware referred to as "rickety" -- "hell-for-stout" is the more usual description I've encountered.

    ISS About to Have a Crew of Six With Soyuz-TMA 15 Launch - NASA Watch

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