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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
Historical Examples
  • At one side was a "lean-to" kitchen, and on the other side was the porch that was just a narrow platform with a roof over it.

    Lonesome Land B. M. Bower
  • Arizona galloped her up to the house and rounded the lean-to in which Joe slept.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Heart pounding, she moved protectively closer to the lean-to where Eagle Feather lay.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • With the best haste he could make he hurried back to the lean-to.

    Left on the Labrador Dillon Wallace
  • As the four started for the creek, he explained to Chips what they had seen and heard near the lean-to.

    Dan Carter Cub Scout Mildred A. Wirt
  • It also had a "lean-to," or low ell, attached to the larger part.

    The Kentucky Ranger Edward T. Curnick
  • I guess I'll take my bed up there; that lean-to is awful hot.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • How shall we be able to sleep in a lean-to on a night like this.

  • To his great delight Noel discovered a lean-to or shed in the rear of the house.

    The Young Sharpshooter at Antietam Everett T. Tomlinson
  • But my eyes were straight before me, on the door of Macartney's lean-to.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
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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