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or ridge pole

[rij-pohl] /ˈrɪdʒˌpoʊl/
the horizontal timber or member at the top of a roof, to which the upper ends of the rafters are fastened.
Also called ridgepiece
[rij-pees] /ˈrɪdʒˌpis/ (Show IPA),
ridge board.
Origin of ridgepole
First recorded in 1780-90; ridge + pole1
Related forms
ridgepoled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ridgepole
Historical Examples
  • Don't he look ridiculous, sitting up there a-straddle of his ridgepole, with a tin-cup?

    Back Home Eugene Wood
  • But the little birds were sitting on the ridgepole, singing.

  • Above it was a sort of ridgepole, which had supported the tent.

  • I knew a girl in Marysville who could walk the ridgepole of a roof.

    Anne Of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • I received her as politely as I could, because I think she was sorry she dared me to walk a ridgepole.

    Anne Of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The pillars that had supported the ridgepole were still standing in some of the ruins.

    Travels in Alaska John Muir
  • One of the boat's masts was used for a ridgepole, and the oars for rafters.

    North-Pole Voyages Zachariah Atwell Mudge
  • There were two forked uprights and across these was laid the ridgepole.

    Tom Slade Percy K. Fitzhugh
  • A ridgepole may then be nailed to the upper ends of the uprights.

    Primary Handwork

    Ella Victoria Dobbs
  • Cap was madder'n a July hornet, and cussed till the ridgepole shook.

British Dictionary definitions for ridgepole


a timber laid along the ridge of a roof, to which the upper ends of the rafters are attached
the horizontal pole at the apex of a tent
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 ridgepole

also ridge-pole, 1670s, from ridge (n.) + pole (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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