There are 2 main definitions of raft in English:

raft1

Syllabification: raft
Pronunciation: /raft
 
/

noun

1A flat buoyant structure of timber or other materials fastened together, used as a boat or floating platform.
More example sentences
  • As kids, we were always on the water in canoes or rowboats or homemade rafts.
  • 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.
1.1A small, inflatable rubber or plastic boat, especially one for use in emergencies.
More example sentences
  • It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated.
  • 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 and pilot Russell Phillips managed to survive 47 days on a rubber raft with no provisions amidst menacing swarms of sharks.
1.2A floating mass of fallen trees, vegetation, ice, or other material.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ground beetles and spiders likewise may be carried northward on rafts of vegetation.
1.3A dense flock of swimming birds or mammals: great rafts of cormorants, often 5,000 strong
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Although large rafts of these birds can be seen in the Atlantic in winter, Washington's wintering Red-necked Grebes are solitary.
  • From the porch, watch rafts of birds winter on the water below.
1.4A layer of reinforced concrete forming the foundation of a building.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.

verb

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1 [no object] Travel on or as if on a raft: I have rafted along the Rio Grande
More example sentences
  • While rafting and kayaking in Nepal, adventurers can float along picturesque mountain rivers enjoying tranquil views, far from the well-traveled paths.
  • 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.
1.1 [with object] Transport on or as a raft: the stores were rafted ashore I rafted 400 logs to my mill
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.
More example sentences
  • 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 next time we were all rafted up together, I waited until they went swimming, and rifled through their wallets for the extra four bucks.
  • 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.

Definition of raft in:

There are 2 main definitions of raft in English:

raft2

Syllabification: raft
Pronunciation: /raft
 
/

noun

A large amount of something: a raft of government initiatives
More example sentences
  • Introduced under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 2001, the tickets cover a raft of minor public order and anti-social behaviour offences.
  • 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 team has worked hard with police to secure a raft of anti-social behaviour orders in the last year.

Origin

mid 19th century: alteration of dialect raff 'abundance' (perhaps of Scandinavian origin), by association with raft1 in the sense 'floating mass'.

Definition of raft in: