raft

1
[raft, rahft]
See more synonyms for raft on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a more or less rigid floating platform made of buoyant material or materials: an inflatable rubber raft.
  2. a collection of logs, planks, casks, etc., fastened together for floating on water.
  3. life raft.
  4. a slab of reinforced concrete providing a footing on yielding soil, usually for a whole building, so that the weight of the soil that would be displaced by the settlement of the building exceeds the weight of the building itself; mat.
verb (used with object)
  1. to transport on a raft.
  2. to form (logs or the like) into a raft.
  3. to travel or cross by raft.
  4. (of an ice floe) to transport (embedded organic or rock debris) from the shore out to sea.
verb (used without object)
  1. to use a raft; go or travel on a raft.
  2. (of an ice floe) to overlap another ice floe.

Origin of raft

1
1250–1300; Middle English rafte, perhaps < Old Norse raptr rafter1

raft

2
[raft, rahft]
noun Informal.
  1. a great quantity; a lot: a raft of trouble.

Origin of raft

2
1825–35; variant of raff large number (Middle English: abundance)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for raft

Contemporary Examples of raft

Historical Examples of raft

  • As if he were not capable of controlling a raft or a bonfire!

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • I have seen a raft built of cedar logs and cedar bark ropes in an hour.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • In the name of God, look again, and see in what condition the wretches have got their raft!

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Paul then signed to the raft and to the reef, as much as to tell the other to withdraw his party.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • After they had a good start the band on the raft began to play.


British Dictionary definitions for raft

raft

1
noun
  1. a buoyant platform of logs, planks, etc, used as a vessel or moored platform
  2. a thick slab of reinforced concrete laid over soft ground to provide a foundation for a building
verb
  1. to convey on or travel by raft, or make a raft from
Derived Formsrafting, noun

Word Origin for raft

C15: from Old Norse raptr rafter

raft

2
noun
  1. informal a large collection or amounta raft of old notebooks discovered in a cupboard

Word Origin for raft

C19: from raff
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

Word Origin and History for raft
n.1

"floating platform," late 15c., originally "rafter" (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse raptr "log" (Old Norse -pt- pronounced as -ft-), related to Middle Low German rafter, rachter "rafter" (see rafter).

n.2

"large collection," 1830, variant of raff "heap, large amount," from Middle English raf (cf. raffish, riffraff); form and sense associated with raft (n.1).

v.

1680s, from raft (n.1). Related: Rafted; rafting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper