View synonyms for roof


[ roof, roof ]


, plural roofs.
  1. the external upper covering of a house or other building.
  2. a frame for supporting this:

    an open-timbered roof.

  3. the highest part or summit:

    The Himalayas are the roof of the world.

  4. something that in form or position resembles the roof of a house, as the top of a car, the upper part of the mouth, etc.
  5. a house.
  6. Mining. the rock immediately above a horizontal mineral deposit.

verb (used with object)

  1. to provide or cover with a roof.


/ ruːf /


    1. a structure that covers or forms the top of a building
    2. ( in combination )

      the rooftop

    3. ( as modifier )

      a roof garden

  1. the top covering of a vehicle, oven, or other structure

    the roof of a car

  2. anatomy any structure that covers an organ or part

    the roof of the mouth

  3. a highest or topmost point or part

    Mount Everest is the roof of the world

  4. a house or other shelter

    a poor man's roof

  5. mountaineering the underside of a projecting overhang
  6. hit the roof or go through the roof informal.
    1. to get extremely angry; become furious
    2. to rise or increase steeply
  7. raise the roof
    1. to create a boisterous disturbance
    2. to react or protest heatedly


  1. tr to provide or cover with a roof or rooflike part

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Derived Forms

  • ˈroofless, adjective
  • ˈroofer, noun
  • ˈroofˌlike, adjective

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Other Words From

  • rooflike adjective
  • re·roof verb (used with object)
  • self-roofed adjective
  • under·roof noun
  • un·roofed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of roof1

before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English hrōf; cognate with Dutch roef cover, cabin, Old Norse hrōf

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Word History and Origins

Origin of roof1

Old English hrōf ; related to Middle Dutch, Old Norse hrōf

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. go through the roof,
    1. to increase beyond all expectations:

      Foreign travel may very well go through the roof next year.

    2. Also hit the roof, Informal. to lose one's temper; become extremely angry.
  2. raise the roof, Informal.
    1. to create a loud noise:

      The applause raised the roof.

    2. to complain or protest noisily:

      He'll raise the roof when he sees that bill.

More idioms and phrases containing roof

In addition to the idiom beginning with roof , also see go through the roof ; hit the ceiling (roof) ; like a cat on hot bricks (a hot tin roof) ; raise the roof .

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Example Sentences

They found that asphalt from roofs and roads may contribute as much secondary organic compounds as all the vehicles in the region on an annual basis.

The major horizontal roof beam, oriented east-west, is called “the sun’s path.”

He had a cinder-block wall around the tank, so the heat wasn’t blowing toward his house, but the eaves of the roof caught on fire in the last five minutes before the tank stopped burning.

Creating such “cool roofs” across 80% of the nation’s commercial buildings could cut annual energy use by more than 10 terawatt-hours and save more than $700 million, according to an earlier study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Stupid young people went back to trying to jump into pools from their roofs.

Which is why you should: “Clap along, if you feel like a room without a roof.”

We were on her roof talking and trying to come up with ideas, to think of alternatives to renting a studio.

The two once lived together under the same roof, after Brooke asked Fenner to live with them.

Some wielding signs hit the roof, windshield, and body of the car I was traveling in.

Yeah, I mean, as far as Maggie goes, her reducing a church to just “four walls and a roof” says a lot about the character.

The Pontellier and Ratignolle compartments adjoined one another under the same roof.

Even as they gazed they saw its roof caught up, and whirled off as if it had been a scroll of paper.

First the chimneys sank down through the roof, as if they were being lowered into the cellar.

The tower has four clock faces, pinnacles at the angles, and a steep slate roof and is 120 feet high.

Then the roof itself, with its gables and dormer windows, softly folded itself flat down upon the top of the house, out of sight.


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What Is The Plural Of Roof?

Plural word for roof

The plural form of roof is roofs (not rooves). Roof is not pluralized by replacing the -f ending with -ves, as is done in many other words ending in -f, such as shelf/shelves, scarf/scarves, and hoof/hooves. 

The word roof comes from Old English, and like many Old English-derived words ending in -f, it initially had two plural forms: roofs and rooves. It’s not clear why rooves dropped out of use. It might be simply because we don’t use the plural form of roof very often, compared to more common words like leaf/leaves. Other examples of this pluralization pattern include proof/proofs, chief/chiefs, and brief/briefs.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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