• synonyms


[raf-ting, rahf-]
See more synonyms for rafting on Thesaurus.com
  1. the sport of traveling on rivers and streams by raft.
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Origin of rafting

First recorded in 1690–1700; raft1 + -ing1


[raft, rahft]
  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.
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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.
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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.
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Origin of raft1

1250–1300; Middle English rafte, perhaps < Old Norse raptr rafter1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rafting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I had found it when I was rafting so I knew they did not know about it.

  • After many days of rafting our travellers arrived in a most singular country.

  • For this reason rivermen maintain that timber is made better by rafting.

    Seasoning of Wood

    Joseph B. Wagner

  • Our first business was to water the ship by rafting and towing off the casks.

    Peter Simple

    Frederick Marryat

  • A successful experiment in rafting, from Jelalabad to Dakka, was tried.

British Dictionary definitions for rafting


  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
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  1. to convey on or travel by raft, or make a raft from
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Derived Formsrafting, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old Norse raptr rafter


  1. informal a large collection or amounta raft of old notebooks discovered in a cupboard
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Word Origin

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 rafting



"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).

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

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper