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 Mostly the people sitting at the rickety stools around her booth are the vendors who work in the market. Eric Barton, orlandosentinel.com, "Postcard from the edge of a pandemic," 11 Apr. 2021 Then Lambert, a former Steele and Clemens star, zigzagged down the lane for a scoop layup just as the first-quarter buzzer sounded, providing a spot of hope after a rickety 10 minutes. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas women's season ends with loss to South Carolina in Elite Eight," 30 Mar. 2021 All of this lays bare the harsh truth that women’s progress in the workforce has been built on an incredibly rickety foundation, one that was reversed in an instant. Sallie Krawcheck, Fortune, "There’s no ‘I’ in ‘women’: Why teaming up will work to our financial advantage," 10 Mar. 2021 Before dawn on a recent morning, Mexican workers trickled through the port of entry and boarded dozens of rickety white buses that idled nearby. New York Times, "America’s Salad Bowl Becomes Fertile Ground for Covid-19," 22 Jan. 2021 Allowing masses of underpaid workers to be exploited in order to provide widespread convenience was always a depraved bargain, built on a rickety ethical and economic foundation. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Instacart Is a Parasite and a Sham," 30 Dec. 2020 The quality of basketball was as rickety as Vogel expected. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Return of NBA champion Lakers, and pro basketball to L.A., chills more than thrills," 11 Dec. 2020 Writer-director John Davies builds his project on the rickety frame of a near-useless gimmick. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Lincoln is Crying’ review: A blur of political sleaze, delivered by a glib documentary," 2 Dec. 2020 But the lament in its verses presages a virulent modern contagion, a rickety national health system, and a deeply stratified society, all working together to smite with extra ferocity America’s racial minorities and the poor. National Geographic, "gone viral," 13 Oct. 2020

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

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rickety.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rickety. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for rickety



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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Comments on rickety

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