1 [shan-tee]
noun, plural shanties.
a crudely built hut, cabin, or house.
of, pertaining to, or constituting a shanty or shanties: a shanty quarter outside the town walls.
of a low economic or social class, especially when living in a shanty: shanty people.
verb (used without object), shantied, shantying.
to inhabit a shanty.

1810–20; probably < Canadian French chantier lumber camp, hut; French: yard, depot, gantry, stand for barrels < Latin cant(h)ērius rafter, prop, literally, horse in poor condition, nag < Greek kanthḗlios pack ass

shantylike, adjective Unabridged


2 [shan-tee]
noun, plural shanties. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To shanty
World English Dictionary
shanty1 (ˈʃæntɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  a ramshackle hut; crude dwelling
2.  (Austral), (NZ) a public house, esp an unlicensed one
3.  formerly, in Canada
 a.  a log bunkhouse at a lumber camp
 b.  the camp itself
[C19: from Canadian French chantier cabin built in a lumber camp, from Old French gantiergantry]

shanty, (US) shantey, (US) chanty or (US) chantey2 (ˈʃæntɪ, ˈtʃæn-, ˈʃæntɪ, ˈtʃæn-)
n , pl -ties, -teys
a song originally sung by sailors, esp a rhythmic one forming an accompaniment to work
[C19: from French chanter to sing; see chant]
shantey, (US) shantey, (US) chanty or (US) chantey2
[C19: from French chanter to sing; see chant]
chanty, (US) shantey, (US) chanty or (US) chantey2
[C19: from French chanter to sing; see chant]
chantey, (US) shantey, (US) chanty or (US) chantey2
[C19: from French chanter to sing; see chant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"rough cabin," 1820, from Fr. Canadian chantier "lumberjack's headquarters," in Fr., "timberyard, dock," from O.Fr. chantier "gantry," from L. cantherius "rafter, frame" (see gantry). Shanty-town is first recorded 1876; Shanty Irish is from 1928 (title of a book by Jim Tully).

"sea song," 1867, alternative spelling of chanty, from Fr. chantez, imper. of chanter "to sing" (see chant).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


also spelled Chantey, or Chanty (from French chanter, "to sing"), English-language sailors' work song dating from the days of sailing ships, when manipulating heavy sails, by means of ropes, from positions on the deck constituted a large part of a sailor's work. The leader, or shantyman, chosen for his seamanship rather than his musical talent, stood at the leading position on the rope, while the sailors crouched along the rope behind him. The shantyman would intone a line of a song and the group respond in chorus, heaving on the rope at a given point in the melody. The shantyman was one of the crucial members of the ship's crew, and it was said that "a good shantyman was worth four extra hands on the rope." He selected a song of appropriate type and speed for the task, and, by improvising verses, he could spin the song out for as long as needed; shanty texts are thus far more fluid than published versions indicate.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The police said they had warned the shanty occupants a week in advance that the
  structures would be destroyed.
Without mortgage lending, there are never enough houses in shanty towns.
And the shanty towns rang with their songs and their fights.
Yet initially they seem to blend perfectly with the shanty towns in which they
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