Main definitions of raft in English

: raft1raft2

raft1

noun

  • 1A flat buoyant structure of timber or other materials fastened together, used as a boat or floating platform.

    • ‘Doors were used for rafts or got broken up and stuffed into the fireplace for fuel.’
    • ‘When the road was flooded it meant trying to make a raft out of anything around the house - bamboo and plastic oil cans were the materials of choice.’
    • ‘I befriended a couple of the kids, and together we built a raft that we would row down the Dodder as far as the great waterfall in Donnybrook.’
    • ‘Bilbo sneaks off to get food, as people on shore lash the barrels together into a raft.’
    • ‘Am and Andy swam as fast as they could to the floating raft.’
    • ‘There used to be six rafts on the pond, now they are all gone.’
    • ‘Her index finger was slightly pointing to the raft floating in the middle of the lake.’
    • ‘As I cleared a group of weeds I removed from my robe a small raft made of tree branches and strands of fish intestines to hold it together.’
    • ‘It was in that guise that he was captured in 1943, floating down the Mekong River in a bamboo raft.’
    • ‘As kids, we were always on the water in canoes or rowboats or homemade rafts.’
    • ‘To have very large rafts would seem to negate the effectiveness of rafts as a dispersed, regulatory structure.’
    • ‘When the tide came in the raft floated and was then attached to a boat.’
    • ‘Instead of cars, traffic was composed of upturned beds, cupboards and doors turned into makeshift rafts, with people paddling seeking food and other necessities.’
    • ‘Without a word we climb down into the water and swim underneath the raft, between the orange plastic drums.’
    • ‘A previously well 13-year-old boy was attempting to swim to a raft on a lake.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, desperate refugees build a raft, or use blown-up plastic bags to try to float across the river.’
    • ‘Floating on the water was a large raft, made of smoothed logs, fastened together and topped with roughly hewn planks.’
    • ‘Not far away is a makeshift raft of four innertubes tide together.’
    • ‘Conjuring a pleasant place like a beach, or a raft on a lake can help you take your mind off the urge and relax.’
    • ‘The real adventures of Huck Finn took place on a raft on the Mississippi River.’
    arrangement, assembling, assemblage, line-up, formation, ordering, disposition, marshalling, muster, amassing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small inflatable rubber or plastic boat, especially one for use in emergencies.
      • ‘Orr takes me on a terrifying spin in a blow-up raft down the Lagan.’
      • ‘They worked together to help survivors jump from the ship into the raft.’
      • ‘He grabbed his own bag and the first aid kit, throwing them onto the newly inflated raft before jumping from the plane just before the door became fully immersed.’
      • ‘Within minutes, they had the raft inflated and on the water.’
      • ‘‘Adak found four crewmen from the tug in a rubber raft,’ the captain told Navy News.’
      • ‘It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated.’
      • ‘I've been on Coast Guard vessels and they can move rafts on and off boats pretty quickly, on and off ships.’
      • ‘They were taking down our coordinates every 15 minutes in case we got washed under and had to take the rubber raft and jump into our survival suits.’
      • ‘He also knew that it was impossible to lower lifeboats and rafts to save the crew and the vessel's passengers.’
      • ‘This is the perfect place to use that inflatable raft that's been stashed in the garage.’
      • ‘A dozen tourists wander through the colony, having arrived by Zodiac rubber raft from their cruise ship.’
      • ‘The people had been inside or were clinging to the side of a rubber raft for between six and eight hours before they were rescued.’
      • ‘Although the company reports that a handful of rafts self-inflated, the company says they've identified only one ‘suspected gas depletion.’’
      • ‘But there were those who faced a more protracted end: numbed into insensibility after days of clinging to a raft or boat in the stormy north Atlantic.’
      • ‘Maybe the excitement encouraged us to take another brave step - riding on a long, light rubber raft being towed behind one of the power boats.’
      • ‘The captain and his crew were left drifting aimlessly on the tiny raft after their boat, the Gullborg, exploded south of Shetland almost 32 years ago.’
      • ‘As a result, he came upon and rescued four people in an emergency raft.’
      • ‘He and pilot Russell Phillips managed to survive 47 days on a rubber raft with no provisions amidst menacing swarms of sharks.’
      • ‘We dropped more flares to vector the tugboat to the raft.’
      • ‘I made the mistake of thinking that they had given up and commandeered my favorite inflatable raft to float me around the pool.’
    2. 1.2 A floating mass of fallen trees, vegetation, ice, or other material.
      • ‘With all the flow and rafts of weed washing downstream it was very difficult keeping the bite alarms from bleeping continuously.’
      • ‘On large lakes near major access roads and rail lines, rafts of floating logs often made canoe travel impossible.’
      • ‘Roses and cynipid galls occur along the banks of the Severn River above the tree line because of clay deposits, heat, and rafts of vegetation carried north by the river.’
      • ‘There's a series of perfectly overhanging trees, some of which are partly submerged creating some enticing looking weed rafts and the bank would appear to be undercut too.’
      • ‘These range from flimsy ‘floating meadows’ of intertwined grass to thick rafts of peatlike material that often support rooted trees and are likely to support nests as well.’
      • ‘They look just like the rafts of fragmented sea ice that lie off the coast of Antarctica on Earth.’
      • ‘Rafts of weed can be commonplace drifting downstream, and they come to rest in many a slack, eddy or on any partly submerged structure.’
      • ‘To my left, in the corner of the bay itself was a large raft of floating scum which stretched out some five yards or so, towards the island.’
      • ‘Ground beetles and spiders likewise may be carried northward on rafts of vegetation.’
      • ‘Water from the aquarium tanks is pumped over the top of rafts of brown algae, which feed on the nutrients in the water and help clean it naturally, as they would out on the reef.’
      • ‘Here ingenuity led to more advanced ways of growing food, by covering rafts of branches and roots with earth to create chinampas or floating gardens.’
      • ‘You can take the train from Vancouver as far as Jasper - up past the vast rafts of logs on the icy, tumbling Fraser River and into the heart of the Rockies.’
      group, quantity, lot, bunch, mass, cluster, raft, set, collection, bundle, series, number
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A dense flock of swimming birds or mammals:
      ‘great rafts of cormorants, often 5,000 strong’
      • ‘Although large rafts of these birds can be seen in the Atlantic in winter, Washington's wintering Red-necked Grebes are solitary.’
      • ‘Outside of the breeding season, Greater Scaup form large flocks or rafts, numbering in the thousands.’
      • ‘Offshore, great rafts of the seabirds rise and fall slowly on lazy swells, their white heads glowing in the faint afternoon sun beneath an approaching line of dark clouds.’
      • ‘Often found in large rafts outside the breeding season, Common Goldeneyes are frequent winter residents in Puget Sound and on large Washington rivers.’
      • ‘We saw long tailed ducks - thousands of them, packed together in rafts hundreds of metres long.’
      • ‘From the porch, watch rafts of birds winter on the water below.’
      • ‘At the end of the morning, we stood on a bank at the nature sanctuary overlooking a glassy cove with a distant raft of big black ducks.’
      • ‘This area affords excellent views of Burrard Inlet and rafts of offshore ducks.’
      • ‘Responsible behaviour is also required on the surface as birds will be nesting on the cliffs and huge rafts of them will also be on the water.’
      • ‘We saw hundreds, down to the detail of their banded beaks, as we coursed through the rafts of birds floating, I assume for comfort, till they comically bodysurfed and dived out of our way.’
  • 2A layer of reinforced concrete forming the foundation of a building.

    • ‘Beyond this load with further settlement of piled raft, the piles start carrying the load.’
    • ‘All these Figures show the effectiveness of the soil modulus in increasing the load carrying capacity of piled raft.’
    • ‘But it provided a footprint for new foundations a concrete raft with built-in frost apron over a channel for cables and pipelines.’
    • ‘The nature of the ground would require the houses to be constructed on deep driven piles upon which concrete rafts would then be placed so as to provide strong foundations for the houses.’
    • ‘Its foundations took the form of a concrete raft, whose design had been approved by the council on the recommendation of independent consulting engineers.’

verb

  • 1[no object, with adverbial of direction] Travel on or as if on a raft:

    ‘I have rafted along the Rio Grande’
    • ‘‘Don't worry, Henriette hasn't been rafting either,’ he said.’
    • ‘We'd gone river rafting in California, and on a platter-smooth stretch of water, I stupidly removed my life jacket because it was stiflingly hot.’
    • ‘When planning a national park trip, many travelers envision rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon or hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite.’
    • ‘Many beautiful scenes appear when rafting down the river.’
    • ‘Another way to explore our scenic riverbanks is to raft down the St. Lawrence.’
    • ‘Take a mooring and you are a parking lot for everybody else who feels like rafting up - complicated stuff with bow, stern and spring lines and fenders.’
    • ‘While rafting and kayaking in Nepal, adventurers can float along picturesque mountain rivers enjoying tranquil views, far from the well-traveled paths.’
    • ‘The couple, from Acomb, York, told the Evening Press via e-mail of their experience when rafting in Thailand.’
    • ‘A few weeks ago, I went rafting with a few friends in California and the pictures are still trickling in.’
    • ‘Hundreds of boats motor through the channel all weekend and boats also raft up.’
    • ‘Swim, raft, or trek along the rivers, which emerge from the glacial highlands of the Andes and vary from black to white, cloudy, ruddy, or salty.’
    • ‘By 11 am he will start his 20-mile tandem mountain bike ride before rafting across the Pontsticill reservoir.’
    • ‘While they were water rafting or singing campfire songs I was stuck in my room listening to my parents fight.’
    • ‘Now our customers are people who will do something else if they don't go rafting.’
    • ‘The film was shot in New Zealand, and in seven months there I hiked, climbed, rafted and watched the sun rise lying in boiling hot rockpools on a beach.’
    1. 1.1[with object and adverbial of direction] Transport on or as if on a raft:
      ‘the stores were rafted ashore’
    2. 1.2 (of an ice floe) be driven on top of or underneath another floe.
  • 2[with object] Bring or fasten together (a number of boats or other objects) side by side:

    ‘we rafted the boats together off the shores of Murchison Island’
    • ‘When we got into difficulty, we rafted our canoe and Keith's canoe together, bow-to-bow.’
    • ‘We rafted together and began tossing out contradictory observations: It was still wavy; it seemed safe enough to paddle; it looked too risky to continue.’
    • ‘You're rafted up with other boats at your favorite swimming hole, and all of a sudden some knucklehead comes by throwing a supersized wake.’
    • ‘The eight adventurers crossed the finish line rafted up together, welcomed by a wonderful group of volunteers, staff and families.’
    • ‘The next time we were all rafted up together, I waited until they went swimming, and rifled through their wallets for the extra four bucks.’
    • ‘Three of the party rafted together and took the distressed party across their kayaks and made their way towards a suitable landing point beneath high cliffs.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's done by rafting to a boat that is on a mooring.’
    • ‘We raft up our brokerage boats at another location so that we can squeeze visitors in, but we still run out of room.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘beam, rafter’): from Old Norse raptr rafter. The verb dates from the late 17th century.

Pronunciation:

raft

/rɑːft/

Main definitions of raft in English

: raft1raft2

raft2

noun

  • A large amount of something:

    ‘a raft of government initiatives’
    • ‘Despite government efforts, special inquiries, a Royal Commission, and rafts of good intentions, the problem of long term care for elderly people remains.’
    • ‘The era of the big wine sale with rafts of good wines at jaw-dropping prices is not over, despite more astute wine buying and greater awareness of what Britain's wine drinkers want.’
    • ‘The team has worked hard with police to secure a raft of anti-social behaviour orders in the last year.’
    • ‘The commission has already called for a raft of new ways of checking ballots, including the collection of signatures and dates of birth at registration for postal voting.’
    • ‘So you cut out whole rafts of people, scenes, and events.’
    • ‘The problem has been largely overlooked by employers as they struggle to cope with the continuing raft of legislation and changes which affect them on an almost daily basis.’
    • ‘The financial plight of the company means it is insolvent and has been losing rafts of money.’
    • ‘The response was spectacular: a raft of letters saying I was quite right, it was time someone got up to say so, etc etc.’
    • ‘Therefore, if unrestricted competition forced price to equal marginal cost in core industries, it would eventually lead to a raft of bankruptcies.’
    • ‘Negotiating even modest revisions of existing agreements can sometimes take years, and getting a raft of new ones arranged in short order will be difficult.’
    • ‘The new laws will subject them to a raft of compulsory orders which will exacerbate rather than resolve the causes of their resentment and hostility.’
    • ‘If I'm trying to find information on something, search engines very often fail me, throwing up rafts of irrelevant results.’
    • ‘No budget since 1997 has been passed without a raft of measures to boost productivity and new business formation.’
    • ‘Introduced under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 2001, the tickets cover a raft of minor public order and anti-social behaviour offences.’
    • ‘A raft of specialist hardware ranging from dedicated net phones to bluetooth enabled headsets are appearing on the market.’
    • ‘The Tory leader hopes to see off his critics by unveiling a raft of policies this week on pensions, health, education and policing.’
    • ‘More than 50 employers take part in the Sharrow project which uses a raft of display boards in shops and libraries to advertise details of job opportunities.’
    • ‘Did you know that the Government has huge rafts of consumer-related data, regarding which car you're most likely to die in if there's an accident?’
    • ‘Since the research began Sheffield city centre has been transformed with a raft of new clubs and shops opening.’
    • ‘So, without creating those ‘huge rafts of social housing’, what can be done in York to address the needs of people who can't afford the spiralling cost of buying a new home?’

Origin

Mid 19th century: alteration of dialect raff ‘abundance’ (perhaps of Scandinavian origin), by association with raft in the sense ‘floating mass’.

Pronunciation:

raft

/rɑːft/