Definition of shack in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ʃak/


A roughly built hut or cabin.
Example sentences
  • In tents, shacks, log cabins and frame dwellings, pioneers gathered together for protection.
  • They were replaced by shanties and shacks built of nothing more than clapboard or wattle and daub with dark and threatening alleyways between.
  • And if they weren't houses then they were apartment buildings, or department stores, or supermarkets, or malls, or office buildings, or warehouses, or shacks, or kiosks, or maybe even tents.
hut, shanty, cabin, log cabin, lean-to, shed;
Scottish  bothy, shieling, shiel;
Canadian  tilt;
South African  hok;
Australian  gunyah, mia-mia, humpy;
New Zealand  whare;
American Indian  hogan, wickiup;
in Brazil favela
North American archaic shebang


[no object] (shack up) informal
Move in or live with someone as a lover: they won’t believe I’ve shacked up with someone so good-looking
More example sentences
  • This guy's wife is living in an upstate trailer while her ex-husband is shacking up with his buddy's widow.
  • The only way to live is to shack up with losers whose natural life expectancy isn't much more than a mayfly on a good day.
  • With formerly segregated genres shacking up like bunnies, and often producing smarter, more attractive offspring, electronic-emo-chamber-country just had to happen.
informal, dated live in sin, live over the brush


Late 19th century: perhaps from Mexican jacal, Nahuatl xacatli 'wooden hut'. The early sense of the verb was 'live in a shack' (originally a US usage).

  • A word from the USA, shack is perhaps from Mexican jacal, Nahuatl xacatli ‘wooden hut’.

Words that rhyme with shack

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shack

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.