from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of several horizontal timbers supporting the rafters of a roof.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A longitudinal structural member bridging two or more rafters of a roof.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. In root construction, a horizontal member supported on the principals and supporting the common rafters.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In carpentry, a piece of timber laid horizontally upon the principal rafters of a roof to support the common rafters on which the covering is laid. Also called side timber or side waver. See cut under roof.
Middle English.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Information on the origin of the term is scant at best. According to Websters it comes from the 15th century English. According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary, it is "Middle English, perhaps of French origin". All other sources referenced Middle English or 15th Century English. (Wiktionary)