So poorly constructed or kept up that disintegration is likely; rickety: a ramshackle cabin in the woods.
[Back-formation from obsolete ranshackled, ramshackle, alteration of ransackled, past participle of ransackle, to ransack, frequentative of Middle English ransaken, to pillage; see RANSACK.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.