rick·​ety | \ ˈri-kə-tē How to pronounce rickety (audio) \

Definition of rickety

1 : affected with rickets
2a : lacking stability or firmness : shaky sense 2a a rickety coalition
b : in unsound physical condition rickety veterans rickety stairs

Examples of rickety in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Director Alexandre Aja and screenwriters Michael and Shawn Rasmussen jump into the action almost immediately, then keep escalating the danger in a rickety old house gradually being torn apart by wind, water and snapping beasties. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Ravenous alligators are loose in a flooded basement in ‘Crawl’: What could possibly go wrong?," 12 Oct. 2019 Reaching the area required a two-hour plane ride on a rickety aircraft, which landed in an empty meadow. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX launches satellite that will bring internet to isolated island nations," 16 Dec. 2019 Bessie Coleman was the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license, thrilling crowds by performing dangerous maneuvers in a rickety airplane and representing, literally, the heights that African-Americans could attain. New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Bessie Coleman, Pioneering African-American Aviatrix," 11 Dec. 2019 This in turn may demand new laws that reboot America’s rickety antitrust regulators. The Economist, "Tackling America’s giant hospital bill," 23 Nov. 2019 By the end of the evening, people had abandoned their rickety folding chairs and little plastic cups of wine to boogie with abandon. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Heavy, Meditative, and Tender Music of Les Filles de Illighadad," 11 Nov. 2019 The place was filled with rickety antiques, Victorian tapestry settees, heavy draperies, Civil War memorabilia and lamps converted from the kind that once burned oil. Marni Jameson, orlandosentinel.com, "‘French Refreshed’ offers lessons in pared-down sophistication," 14 Nov. 2019 With no proper emergency response plan for natural disasters, local rescuers used rickety wooden dhows to reach trapped people while helicopters provided by the U.N. plucked people from rooftops. Abdi Guled, Twin Cities, "Somalia struggles after worst flooding in recent history," 14 Nov. 2019 There always seemed to be a group of boys and girls hanging out on the rickety porch or front yard. oregonlive, "Beatings, burglaries, murder: Teens terrorized N. Portland for months, neighbors say," 2 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rickety.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rickety

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for rickety

Time Traveler

The first known use of rickety was in 1673

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Statistics for rickety

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rickety.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rickety. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for rickety


How to pronounce rickety (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rickety

: not strong or stable and likely to break


rick·​ety | \ ˈri-kə-tē How to pronounce rickety (audio) \

Kids Definition of rickety

: in poor condition and likely to break Just below them, hugging the shore, rose a village of thatched huts, with a small, rickety pier, boats on the sand, and nets spread for mending.— Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat


rick·​ety | \ ˈrik-ət-ē How to pronounce rickety (audio) \

Medical Definition of rickety

: affected with rickets : rachitic

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More from Merriam-Webster on rickety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rickety

Spanish Central: Translation of rickety

Nglish: Translation of rickety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rickety for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rickety

What made you want to look up rickety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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