1 of 2

noun (1)

raf·​ter ˈraf-tər How to pronounce rafter (audio)
: any of the parallel beams that support a roof
raftered adjective


2 of 2

noun (2)

raft·​er ˈraf-tər How to pronounce rafter (audio)
: one who maneuvers logs into position and binds them into rafts
: one who travels by raft

Examples of rafter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Back in February, a crew member on Marvel Studios' Wonder Man died after falling from the rafters on the set. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 14 May 2024 The lobby, which is filled with eclectic furniture, is as ideal for a matcha latte as for a martini; the airy rooms have thoughtful accents, like the wooden swing that hung from the rafters of my spacious suite. David Amsden, Travel + Leisure, 14 May 2024 The lawyer also suggested that Chelsea Piers may have violated state whistle-blower regulations because the coaches had previously complained about health and safety concerns at the rinks after a ventilation unit fell from the rafters onto the ice during a late-night hockey game. David Waldstein, New York Times, 3 May 2024 That time, though, mother and daughter were as far as possible from the stage in the rafters, with only Bey’s whipping hair visible from that nosebleed vantage. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 2 May 2024 All were carried toward the rafters, and lost, as the peak of the house’s tin roof disappeared. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, 11 Apr. 2024 Later in the episode, Samberg reflected on his own time in various SNL sketches that required him to hang upside down from the rafters. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 8 Apr. 2024 There are two national championship banners hanging from the rafters. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Apr. 2024 Come back here often for highlights from the day, including videos of the World Series championship banner dropping from the rafters at Globe Life Field to celebrity sightings and much more. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rafter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English ræfter; akin to Old Norse raptr rafter

Noun (2)

raft entry 2

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rafter was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near rafter

Cite this Entry

“Rafter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rafter. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: one of the usually sloping timbers that support a roof

More from Merriam-Webster on rafter

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