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.

noun Informal.

  1. a great quantity; a lot: a raft of trouble.


  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


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


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

“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).


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


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

40 queries 1.487