Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Likely to break or fall apart; shaky.
  • adj. Feeble with age; infirm.
  • adj. Of, having, or resembling rickets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of an object: not strong or sturdy, as because of poor construction or upkeep; not safe or secure; giddy; shaky.
  • adj. Of a person: feeble in the joints; tottering.
  • adj. Affected with or suffering from rickets.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Affected with rickets.
  • adj. Feeble in the joints; imperfect; weak; shaky.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Affected with rickets.
  • Feeble in the joints; tottering; infirm; hence, in general, shaky; liable to fall or collapse, as a table, chair, bridge, etc.; figuratively, ill-sustained; weak.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality
  • adj. inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
  • adj. affected with, suffering from, or characteristic of rickets

Etymologies

From rickets.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I have one I haven't read yet (The Immortal, in rickety old hardback), which I'm sort of saving up, the way you save up the last shot of really fine whiskey.

    REVIEW: Last Defender of Camelot by Roger Zelazny

  • Exhibition games were played in rickety stadiums in front of only a handful of fans.

    USATODAY.com - Spring training has different look than in 1950s and 60s

  • A befuddled moment passed before he understood she was referring to his rickety motorcycle and not to their assignment as volunteers.

    Heaven Lake

  • Aged and poverty-stricken army officers would drive up to the doorstep behind rickety old horses and in rickety carryalls.

    The Girl from the Marsh Croft

  • This is the first time I've heard Russian hardware referred to as "rickety" -- "hell-for-stout" is the more usual description I've encountered.

    ISS About to Have a Crew of Six With Soyuz-TMA 15 Launch - NASA Watch

  • His figure — what is commonly called rickety from his birth — presented a most ridiculous appearance, dressed in thick padded clothes, as a safeguard against being stabbed (of which he lived in continual fear), of a grass-green colour from head to foot, with a hunting-horn dangling at his side instead of a sword, and his hat and feather sticking over one eye, or hanging on the back of his head, as he happened to toss it on.

    A Child's History of England

  • His figure -- what is commonly called rickety from his birth -- presented a most ridiculous appearance, dressed in thick padded clothes, as a safeguard against being stabbed (of which he lived in continual fear), of a grass-green colour from head to foot, with a hunting-horn dangling at his side instead of a sword, and his hat and feather sticking over one eye, or hanging on the back of his head, as he happened to toss it on.

    A child`s history of England

  • Another house on the compound, built by an Indonesian housing agency, looks decidedly rickety, which is why a relative who was supposed to move into it is still renting.

    .: SAMAN UI :.

  • I hate that Bianca's brand of crazy, though, is kind of rickety, slow and boring.

    Taking the boot off

  • What started as a two-page business plan and a Levy-confessed "rickety" newsletter now reaches 3.3 million subscribers each day in 12 local editions worldwide.

    DailyCandy: Dany Levy's Sweetest Idea

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