shan·​ty·​town ˈshan-tē-ˌtau̇n How to pronounce shantytown (audio)
: a usually poor town or section of a town consisting mostly of shanties

Examples of shantytown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 1920s, city elders demolished the shantytown remnants that greeted tourists and Cornell University students arriving by train. Photographs Todd Heisler, New York Times, 19 May 2024 Plumes of smoke rose from a blaze in a hillside shantytown. Max Bearak, New York Times, 13 Mar. 2024 Earlier this week, Fontaine Medical Center, a hospital in the Cité Soleil shantytown in the capital, was caught once more in the middle of an exchange of gunfire between clashing gangs, prompting the facility to evacuate patients and staff. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 15 Feb. 2024 The 24-year-old was returning with seven others from a downtown market last March to their homes in Cité Soleil, the capital’s largest shantytown, when they were attacked by armed gang members. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2024 Unable to squeeze into the four acres, hundreds of Guarani have spilled into adjacent shantytowns. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 2 Jan. 2024 With journalistic indignation, Pialat shows the plight of immigrant laborers living tightly packed in shantytown firetraps close to posh Paris neighborhoods. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 22 Sep. 2023 Neighbors described the building as a nightmarish shantytown frequented by drug dealers, where a woman was thrown last year from the fourth floor. Lynsey Chutel, New York Times, 31 Aug. 2023 Books were burned publicly, shantytowns raided, students and professors expelled from schools and universities. Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, 31 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shantytown.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shantytown was in 1876

Dictionary Entries Near shantytown

Cite this Entry

“Shantytown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


shan·​ty·​town -ˌtau̇n How to pronounce shantytown (audio)
: a usually poor town or section of a town made up mostly of shanties
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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