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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 leanto
Historical Examples
  • It was a very comfortable house, with four rooms and a leanto, with a stone chimney.

  • In making the leanto at home the lightest material should be used.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • His home is a small cabin with one or two rooms upstairs and three down, including the kitchen which is a leanto.

  • He must look out to be near plenty of firewood and leanto material.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • The one-room structure was given up to the women while Flores built near it a leanto for himself and Sorez.

    The Web of the Golden Spider Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • Be careful not to set the leanto on fire with the sparks from your camp fire.

    Outdoor Sports and Games Claude H. Miller
  • An open window, a leanto roof, a trellis and a high fence,—no decent prisoner could help escaping.

    Stage-coach and Tavern Days Alice Morse Earle
  • A leanto of poles, covered with bark or browse, makes a handy shelter for a little emergency camp.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • A leanto porch, disfigured by a few advertising signs, gave entrance to a narrow door.

    The Portal of Dreams Charles Neville Buck
  • After about ten minutes of this he walked over to the leanto structure, entered and closed a curtain behind him.

    The Image and the Likeness John Scott Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for leanto


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 leanto



"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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