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.

    • ‘Am and Andy swam as fast as they could to the floating raft.’
    • ‘The real adventures of Huck Finn took place on a raft on the Mississippi River.’
    • ‘Her index finger was slightly pointing to the raft floating in the middle of the lake.’
    • ‘Bilbo sneaks off to get food, as people on shore lash the barrels together into a raft.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As kids, we were always on the water in canoes or rowboats or homemade rafts.’
    • ‘Floating on the water was a large raft, made of smoothed logs, fastened together and topped with roughly hewn planks.’
    • ‘There used to be six rafts on the pond, now they are all gone.’
    • ‘A previously well 13-year-old boy was attempting to swim to a raft on a lake.’
    • ‘Instead of cars, traffic was composed of upturned beds, cupboards and doors turned into makeshift rafts, with people paddling seeking food and other necessities.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, desperate refugees build a raft, or use blown-up plastic bags to try to float across the river.’
    • ‘To have very large rafts would seem to negate the effectiveness of rafts as a dispersed, regulatory structure.’
    • ‘It was in that guise that he was captured in 1943, floating down the Mekong River in a bamboo raft.’
    • ‘When the tide came in the raft floated and was then attached to a boat.’
    • ‘Doors were used for rafts or got broken up and stuffed into the fireplace for fuel.’
    • ‘Without a word we climb down into the water and swim underneath the raft, between the orange plastic drums.’
    • ‘Conjuring a pleasant place like a beach, or a raft on a lake can help you take your mind off the urge and relax.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not far away is a makeshift raft of four innertubes tide together.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.
      • ‘He and pilot Russell Phillips managed to survive 47 days on a rubber raft with no provisions amidst menacing swarms of sharks.’
      • ‘I made the mistake of thinking that they had given up and commandeered my favorite inflatable raft to float me around the pool.’
      • ‘We dropped more flares to vector the tugboat to the raft.’
      • ‘Orr takes me on a terrifying spin in a blow-up raft down the Lagan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've been on Coast Guard vessels and they can move rafts on and off boats pretty quickly, on and off ships.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They worked together to help survivors jump from the ship into the raft.’
      • ‘‘Adak found four crewmen from the tug in a rubber raft,’ the captain told Navy News.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is the perfect place to use that inflatable raft that's been stashed in the garage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Within minutes, they had the raft inflated and on the water.’
      • ‘It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated.’
      • ‘As a result, he came upon and rescued four people in an emergency raft.’
      • ‘A dozen tourists wander through the colony, having arrived by Zodiac rubber raft from their cruise ship.’
      • ‘Although the company reports that a handful of rafts self-inflated, the company says they've identified only one ‘suspected gas depletion.’’
      • ‘He also knew that it was impossible to lower lifeboats and rafts to save the crew and the vessel's passengers.’
    2. 1.2 A floating mass of fallen trees, vegetation, ice, or other material.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On large lakes near major access roads and rail lines, rafts of floating logs often made canoe travel impossible.’
      • ‘Rafts of weed can be commonplace drifting downstream, and they come to rest in many a slack, eddy or on any partly submerged structure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With all the flow and rafts of weed washing downstream it was very difficult keeping the bite alarms from bleeping continuously.’
      group, quantity, lot, bunch, mass, cluster, 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This area affords excellent views of Burrard Inlet and rafts of offshore ducks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘From the porch, watch rafts of birds winter on the water below.’
      • ‘Often found in large rafts outside the breeding season, Common Goldeneyes are frequent winter residents in Puget Sound and on large Washington rivers.’
      • ‘Although large rafts of these birds can be seen in the Atlantic in winter, Washington's wintering Red-necked Grebes are solitary.’
      • ‘We saw long tailed ducks - thousands of them, packed together in rafts hundreds of metres long.’
      • ‘Outside of the breeding season, Greater Scaup form large flocks or rafts, numbering in the thousands.’
    4. 1.4 A layer of reinforced concrete forming the foundation of a building.
      • ‘But it provided a footprint for new foundations a concrete raft with built-in frost apron over a channel for cables and pipelines.’
      • ‘Its foundations took the form of a concrete raft, whose design had been approved by the council on the recommendation of independent consulting engineers.’
      • ‘Beyond this load with further settlement of piled raft, the piles start carrying the load.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All these Figures show the effectiveness of the soil modulus in increasing the load carrying capacity of piled raft.’

verb

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

    ‘I have rafted along the Rio Grande’
    • ‘Many beautiful scenes appear when rafting down the river.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The couple, from Acomb, York, told the Evening Press via e-mail of their experience when rafting in Thailand.’
    • ‘Another way to explore our scenic riverbanks is to raft down the St. Lawrence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now our customers are people who will do something else if they don't go rafting.’
    • ‘While they were water rafting or singing campfire songs I was stuck in my room listening to my parents fight.’
    • ‘A few weeks ago, I went rafting with a few friends in California and the pictures are still trickling in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Don't worry, Henriette hasn't been rafting either,’ he said.’
    • ‘Hundreds of boats motor through the channel all weekend and boats also raft up.’
    • ‘By 11 am he will start his 20-mile tandem mountain bike ride before rafting across the Pontsticill reservoir.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While rafting and kayaking in Nepal, adventurers can float along picturesque mountain rivers enjoying tranquil views, far from the well-traveled paths.’
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Transport on or as a raft.
      ‘the stores were rafted ashore’
      ‘I rafted 400 logs to my mill’
    2. 1.2 (of an ice floe) be driven on top of or underneath another floe.
  • 2with object Bring or fasten together (a number of boats or other objects) side by side.

    • ‘When we got into difficulty, we rafted our canoe and Keith's canoe together, bow-to-bow.’
    • ‘The eight adventurers crossed the finish line rafted up together, welcomed by a wonderful group of volunteers, staff and families.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We raft up our brokerage boats at another location so that we can squeeze visitors in, but we still run out of room.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's done by rafting to a boat that is on a mooring.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

raft

/raft//ræft/

Main definitions of raft in English

: raft1raft2

raft2

noun

  • A large amount of something.

    ‘a raft of government initiatives’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The team has worked hard with police to secure a raft of anti-social behaviour orders in the last year.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘If I'm trying to find information on something, search engines very often fail me, throwing up rafts of irrelevant results.’
    • ‘Therefore, if unrestricted competition forced price to equal marginal cost in core industries, it would eventually lead to a raft of bankruptcies.’
    • ‘Despite government efforts, special inquiries, a Royal Commission, and rafts of good intentions, the problem of long term care for elderly people remains.’
    • ‘Since the research began Sheffield city centre has been transformed with a raft of new clubs and shops opening.’
    • ‘No budget since 1997 has been passed without a raft of measures to boost productivity and new business formation.’
    • ‘The Tory leader hopes to see off his critics by unveiling a raft of policies this week on pensions, health, education and policing.’
    • ‘Introduced under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 2001, the tickets cover a raft of minor public order and anti-social behaviour offences.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A raft of specialist hardware ranging from dedicated net phones to bluetooth enabled headsets are appearing on the market.’
    • ‘So you cut out whole rafts of people, scenes, and events.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

raft

/raft//ræft/