rick·​ety | \ˈri-kə-tē \

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

That rickety infrastructure could just not sustain or benefit from all of the opportunity. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ads are just one piece of a bigger ‘reckoning’ in the fashion industry," 20 Sep. 2018 The burly accountant had already spent the previous hour perched on a rickety chair outside a tiny cafe on Kasr al-Aini avenue, its usual flood of traffic now strangely quiet, with his eyes glued to a small television atop a pile of red crates. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Even With Mo Salah in the World Cup, Egypt Can’t Seem to Catch a Break," 23 June 2018 Other locations in Europe appear less likely, the officials said, citing difficulties in getting Kim there on his rickety fleet of aircraft. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump says 'two or three' sites on table for Kim talks; US officials prefer Singapore," 27 Apr. 2018 In return for not being charged for the crime, they are required to help redecorate the rickety shop, thus pitting them against its crabby owner, Doc (Dido De La Paz). Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Respeto': Film Review," 11 July 2018 She and a host of other Venezuelans - army deserters, laborers, nurses - arrived to a barrage of offers from touts peddling trips on rickety buses to cities such as Quito, Lima and Santiago. Anthony Faiola, chicagotribune.com, "Venezuelans are fleeing their crisis-torn country en masse," 3 Mar. 2018 The Carryall turned out to be the ideal way to get everything into the car in one trip, and then likewise from the trunk to rickety picnic table by the fire pit. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Throw Your Entire Life Into the YETI Camino Carryall 35," 25 June 2018 At the center of The Can of Anido is Maran (Xie Jia-hui), an old aboriginal farmer who spends his days silently cultivating his ailing crops and feeding himself with pintsized yam in his barren, rickety hut. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ten Years Taiwan': Film Review," 13 July 2018 The one rickety section of the book is where Tyler has to set this implausible scenario in motion. Laura Collins-hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Waking up is hard to do," 13 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near rickety



rickettsia body





Statistics for rickety

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rickety

The first known use of rickety was in 1673

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English Language Learners Definition of rickety

: not strong or stable and likely to break


rick·​ety | \ˈri-kə-tē \

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 \

Medical Definition of rickety 

: affected with rickets : rachitic

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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 make faulty or ineffective

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