noun (1)
raf·​ter | \ ˈraf-tər How to pronounce rafter (audio) \

Definition of rafter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of the parallel beams that support a roof


noun (2)
raft·​er | \ ˈraf-tər How to pronounce rafter (audio) \

Definition of rafter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one who maneuvers logs into position and binds them into rafts
2 : one who travels by raft

Other Words from rafter

Noun (1)

raftered \ ˈraf-​tərd How to pronounce rafter (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of rafter

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rafter

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

raft entry 2

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Time Traveler for rafter

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near rafter

raft duck


rafter dam

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Cite this Entry

“Rafter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rafter. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for rafter


raf·​ter | \ ˈraf-tər How to pronounce rafter (audio) \

Kids Definition of rafter

: one of the usually sloping timbers that support a roof

More from Merriam-Webster on rafter

Nglish: Translation of rafter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rafter


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