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[leen-too] /ˈlinˌtu/
noun, plural lean-tos.
a shack or shed supported at one side by trees or posts and having an inclined roof.
a roof of a single pitch with the higher end abutting a wall or larger building.
a structure with such a roof.
Origin of lean-to
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; noun use of verb phrase lean to Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lean-to
  • There is no existing barn, and their plans are to construct a lean-to shelter.
  • Her home now is a precarious lean-to made from a couple of stained, fraying sheets tied to some sticks.
  • Two tiny bedrooms, a lean-to kitchen, half a mile from the village.
  • Their kitchen and dining room is a lean-to with endless views across the valley.
  • Two campsites have lean-to shelters and charcoal grills.
  • Five lean-to shelters, three-sided with roof and floor.
British Dictionary definitions for lean-to


noun (pl) -tos
a roof that has a single slope with its upper edge adjoining a wall or building
a shed or outbuilding with such a roof
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lean-to

"building whose rafters pitch against another building or wall," mid-15c., from lean (v.) + to.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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