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[raf-ting, rahf-] /ˈræf tɪŋ, ˈrɑf-/
the sport of traveling on rivers and streams by raft.
1690-1700; raft1 + -ing1


[raft, rahft] /ræft, rɑft/
a more or less rigid floating platform made of buoyant material or materials:
an inflatable rubber raft.
a collection of logs, planks, casks, etc., fastened together for floating on water.
a slab of reinforced concrete providing a footing on yielding soil, usually for a whole building, so that the weight of the soil that would be displaced by the settlement of the building exceeds the weight of the building itself; mat.
verb (used with object)
to transport on a raft.
to form (logs or the like) into a raft.
to travel or cross by raft.
(of an ice floe) to transport (embedded organic or rock debris) from the shore out to sea.
verb (used without object)
to use a raft; go or travel on a raft.
(of an ice floe) to overlap another ice floe.
1250-1300; Middle English rafte, perhaps < Old Norse raptr rafter1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rafting
  • To relax, he plays racquetball three times a week and goes whitewater rafting every summer.
  • From skiing to rafting to cycling, recreation opportunities are minutes away.
  • For a combination rafting and hiking shoe, it was aces.
  • If you're planning a visit in summer, lazily catch the views from a rafting trip.
  • In addition to a kayak slalom course, the center will have a permanent center for wall-climbing, rafting and kayaking.
  • The energy of that moving water can be substantial, as anyone who has been whitewater rafting knows.
  • White-water rafting is a roller coaster ride mixed with bumper cars.
  • The area has abundant recreational opportunities including hiking, biking and white-water rafting.
  • Along with hiking, the area provides opportunities for whitewater rafting, golfing and visits to state and national parks.
  • During the summer months, hiking, mountain biking and river rafting opportunities abound.
British Dictionary definitions for rafting


a buoyant platform of logs, planks, etc, used as a vessel or moored platform
a thick slab of reinforced concrete laid over soft ground to provide a foundation for a building
to convey on or travel by raft, or make a raft from
Derived Forms
rafting, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old Norse raptrrafter


(informal) a large collection or amount: a raft of old notebooks discovered in a cupboard
Word Origin
C19: from raff
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rafting



"floating platform," late 15c., originally "rafter" (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse raptr "log" (Old Norse -pt- pronounced as -ft-), related to Middle Low German rafter, rachter "rafter" (see rafter).

"large collection," 1830, variant of raff "heap, large amount," from Middle English raf (cf. raffish, riffraff); form and sense associated with raft (n.1).


1680s, from raft (n.1). Related: Rafted; rafting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rafting



A large number; oodles, slew: I have rafts of reasons for not doing that

[1833+; fr earlier uses of raft to mean a dense flight of waterfowl, a mass of logs in a river, etc]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for rafting


simplest type of watercraft, made up of logs or planks fastened together to form a floating platform. The earliest were sometimes made of bundles of reeds. Most rafts have been designed simply to float with the current, but they can be equipped with oars or sails or both and can be navigated in the ocean over long distances, as was dramatically demonstrated by Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl in 1947; to test his theory that the Pacific islands might have been settled by people from South America, he sailed a large balsa raft, the Kon-Tiki, from Peru to islands near Tahiti in a voyage of three and a half months. The double-hulled catamarans of India are also seaworthy rafts.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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