Definition of rafting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

present participle of raft entry 2


raft·​ing | \ ˈraf-tiŋ How to pronounce rafting (audio) \

Definition of rafting (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act, sport, or pastime of traveling on a river or other body of water in a usually inflatable raft : the sport of rafting But injuries can happen, just like with any other sport. For this reason, rafting might not be everyone's cup of tea …— Aislinn Sarnacki So maybe white-water rafting is not your ticket. Maybe you'd like some water sport that does not entail hurtling down an angry river at stomach-churning speeds.— Michael D. Burke A measure from Sen. Lawrence Childers … would provide immunity from lawsuits to outfitters of paddle sports—such as rafting and canoeing—because of "the inherent risks of paddle sport activities."— Tim Hoover

First Known Use of rafting


1697, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best sunscreen.

Learn More About rafting

Time Traveler for rafting

Time Traveler

The first known use of rafting was in 1697

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near rafting

rafter dam


rafting auger

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rafting

Cite this Entry

“Rafting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rafting. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on rafting

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rafting


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!