Meaning of shanty


A shanty is a small, rough shelter or dwelling. Modern shanties are commonly found in shantytowns, informal neighborhoods made up of crude, homemade shelters.

A crude, run-down shack can be called a shanty, and the temporary, portable structures that ice fishermen set up for shelter are also shanties. This sense of shanty derives from the French Canadian chantier, or “lumberjack’s headquarters.” Shanty can also refer to a song that sailors sing while they work. This meaning comes from chanty, “boisterous sailor song,” from the French chanter, “to sing.”

Definitions of shanty
  1. noun

    a small crude shelter used as a dwelling


    hovel, hut, hutch, shack

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    igloo, iglu

    an Inuit hut; usually built of blocks (of sod or snow) in the shape of a dome

    a reed hut in the marshlands of Iraq; rare since the marshes were drained
    type of:


    a structure that provides privacy and protection from danger

  2. noun

    a rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors


    chantey, chanty, sea chantey

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    type of:

    work song

    a usually rhythmical song to accompany repetitious work

Word Family

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