- a more or less rigid floating platform made of buoyant material or materials: an inflatable rubber raft.
- a collection of logs, planks, casks, etc., fastened together for floating on water.
- life raft.
- 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)
- to transport on a raft.
- to form (logs or the like) into a raft.
- to travel or cross by raft.
- (of an ice floe) to transport (embedded organic or rock debris) from the shore out to sea.
verb (used without object)
- to use a raft; go or travel on a raft.
- (of an ice floe) to overlap another ice floe.
- a great quantity; a lot: a raft of trouble.
- a buoyant platform of logs, planks, etc, used as a vessel or moored platform
- a thick slab of reinforced concrete laid over soft ground to provide a foundation for a building
- to convey on or travel by raft, or make a raft from
- 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).
1680s, from raft (n.1). Related: Rafted; rafting.