shan·​ty·​town | \ˈshan-tē-ˌtau̇n \

Definition of shantytown 

: a usually poor town or section of a town consisting mostly of shanties

Examples of shantytown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Poor People’s Campaign built a shantytown on the National Mall, where Americans slept upon the nation’s front lawn for weeks. Alice George, Smithsonian, "On the Eve of his Death, Robert Kennedy Was a Whirlwind of Empathy and Internal Strife," 7 June 2018 At its high point, 350 people lived in tents sprawling under the overpass, creating a shameful shantytown in the middle of one of the world’s richest cities. San Francisco Chronicle, "“There is a suitcase full of human s— on the corner of Isis and 13th,” the email read. “Last night, I had to threaten violence to a man smoking crystal meth on my front porch. This morning, my 2-year-old son and I watched a rat rummage through the trash in our gutter.," 25 June 2018 La Perla is a shantytown of about 350 people built more than a century ago on a narrow strip of Atlantic shoreline between the crashing waves and the towering walls of Old San Juan. Ramon Espinosa, Fox News, "As storm season starts, AP photographer revisits Puerto Rico," 1 June 2018 Memon said her husband is a truck driver and the family lives in an urban shantytown. Pamela Constable, Washington Post, "Pakistan is close to eradicating polio. A double slaying shows the grim challenges still in the way.," 21 Jan. 2018 Mr Sadr blames Mr Maliki and his comrades for corruption and a costly sectarian war, which drained Iraq of oil wealth that might otherwise have been used for developing shantytowns where millions of Mr Sadr’s followers live. The Economist, "Burnt votes and an election recount might plunge Iraq into crisis," 14 June 2018 Over the next six weeks, almost 3,000 poor people and their supporters camped out at the National Mall, building a shantytown called Resurrection City. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "The Prosperity Plea," 30 May 2018 In Cazenga, a shantytown in the capital, residents recently marched down fetid, flooded streets in protest against their living conditions. The Economist, "Angola’s new president, João Lourenço, has made an encouraging start," 3 May 2018 Rather than view the move as an invasion, violence-weary residents of the favelas, or shantytowns, hailed it as a liberation. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Beijing’s mysterious visitor, and 6 other global stories you might have missed," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shantytown.' 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 shantytown

1876, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near shantytown

shanty boss







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Time Traveler for shantytown

The first known use of shantytown was in 1876

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English Language Learners Definition of shantytown

: a town or a part of a town where the people are poor and live in shanties

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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