• synonyms


[raf-ter, rahf-]
See more synonyms for rafter on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of a series of timbers or the like, usually having a pronounced slope, for supporting the sheathing and covering of a roof.
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verb (used with object)
  1. British Dialect. to plow (a field) so that the soil of a furrow is pushed over onto an unplowed adjacent strip.
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Origin of rafter1

before 900; Middle English; Old English rǣfter; cognate with Middle Low German rafter, Old Norse raptr. See raft1
Related formsun·raf·tered, adjective


[raf-ter, rahf-]
  1. a person who engages in the sport or pastime of rafting.
  2. a person who travels on a raft, especially to flee a country.
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[raf-ter, rahf-]
  1. a flock, especially of turkeys.
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Origin of rafter3

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rafter

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • As one end was made fast to a rafter, it hung dangling from the window.

  • The end of the rafter is cut at right angles, so the face-board is at an angle.

  • Every pole, every beam, and every rafter of the frame, is all made of hollow bamboo.

    Fil and Filippa

    John Stuart Thomson

  • I'll fix the noose and jump with it from the rafter, then you can look for me!

  • He took another grip on the rafter just as he would have let go.

British Dictionary definitions for rafter


  1. any one of a set of sloping beams that form the framework of a roof
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Word Origin

Old English ræfter; related to Old Saxon rehter, Old Norse raptr, Old High German rāvo; see raft 1
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 rafter


"sloping timber of a roof," Old English ræftras (West Saxon), reftras (Mercian), both plural, related to Old Norse raptr "log," from Proto-Germanic *raf-tra-, from PIE *rap-tro-, from root *rep- "stake, beam."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper