Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A flat structure, typically made of planks, logs, or barrels, that floats on water and is used for transport or as a platform for swimmers.
  • noun A flatbottom inflatable craft for floating or drifting on water.
  • intransitive verb To convey on a raft.
  • intransitive verb To make into a raft.
  • intransitive verb To travel by raft.
  • noun A great number, amount, or collection.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To transport or float on a raft.
  • To make a raft of; form into a raft.
  • To manage a raft; work upon a raft or rafts; travel by raft.
  • noun A damp fusty smell.
  • noun A miscellaneous collection or heap; a promiscuous lot: used slightingly: as, a raft of papers; a whole raft of things to be attended to.
  • noun An obsolete preterit and past participle of reave.
  • noun A beam; spar; rafter.
  • noun A sort of float or framework formed of logs, planks, or other pieces of timber fastened or lashed together side by side, for the convenience of transporting the constituent materials down rivers, across harbors, etc.
  • noun A structure similarly formed of any materials for the floating or transportation of persons or things.
  • noun An accumulation of driftwood from fallen trees in a river, lodged and compacted so as to form a permanent obstruction.
  • noun A conglomeration of eggs of some animals, as certain insects and mollusks, fastened together and forming a. mass; a float. See cut under Ianthina.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • imp. & p. p. of reave.
  • transitive verb To transport on a raft, or in the form of a raft; to make into a raft.
  • noun A collection of logs, boards, pieces of timber, or the like, fastened together, either for their own collective conveyance on the water, or to serve as a support in conveying other things; a float.
  • noun U.S. A collection of logs, fallen trees, etc. (such as is formed in some Western rivers of the United States), which obstructs navigation.
  • noun Slang, U. S. A large collection of people or things taken indiscriminately.
  • noun A bridge that consists of floating timbers fastened together.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The redhead.
  • noun (Naut.) a large, square port in a vessel's side for loading or unloading timber or other bulky articles; a timber or lumber port.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A large (but unspecified) number, a lot.
  • noun A flat structure made of planks, barrels etc., that floats on water, and is used for transport, emergencies or a platform for swimmers.
  • noun A flat-bottomed inflatable craft for floating or drifting on water.
  • noun A thick crowd of seabirds or sea mammals.
  • verb transitive to convey on a raft
  • verb transitive to make into a raft
  • verb intransitive to travel by raft

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make into a raft
  • noun a flat float (usually made of logs or planks) that can be used for transport or as a platform for swimmers
  • verb transport on a raft
  • verb travel by raft in water
  • noun (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old Norse raptr, beam, rafter.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of dialectal raff, rubbish; see raffish.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of raff.

Examples

  • Horror of Horrors -- capital H's -- to both Horrors -- instead of leading me to the 'cradle,' which I called a raft, he took me to a little square board held up by two crossed iron arms, called a 'buggy.'

    Scientific American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 A Weekly Journal of Practical Information, Art, Science, Mechanics, Chemistry, and Manufactures.

  • The sheer beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and the power of the river work their magicuntil the raft is lost in the rapids and a young college student falls overboard, resulting in an even more grisly discovery.

    Borderline by Nevada Barr: Book summary

  • The sheer beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and the power of the river work their magicuntil the raft is lost in the rapids and a young college student falls overboard, resulting in an even more grisly discovery.

    Borderline by Nevada Barr: Book summary

  • On February 1, 1966 the four-man life raft from the aircraft was found off the coast of North Vietnam approximately 152 miles from the last known position of the aircraft.

    Sennett, Robert R.

  • This particular raft is designed to automatically inflate when immersed in salt water.

    Sennett, Robert R.

  • On February 1, 1966 the four-man life raft from the aircraft was found off the coast of North Vietnam approximately 152 miles from the last known position of the aircraft.

    Templin, Erwin B. Jr.

  • This particular raft is designed to automatically inflate when immersed in salt water.

    Templin, Erwin B. Jr.

  • This particular raft is designed to automatically inflate when immersed in salt water.

    Forman, William S.

  • This particular raft is designed to automatically inflate when immersed in salt water.

    Frenyea, Edmund H.

  • On February 1, 1966 the four-man life raft from the aircraft was found off the coast of North Vietnam approximately 152 miles from the last known position of the aircraft.

    Frenyea, Edmund H.

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