Definition of roof in English:

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Pronunciation: /ruːf/

noun (plural roofs)

Image of roof
1The structure forming the upper covering of a building or vehicle: the rain woke him, hammering on the roof a thatched roof a car with a vinyl roof [as modifier]: roof timbers
More example sentences
  • Houses in villages are commonly rectangular, and are dried mud, bamboo, or red brick structures with thatch roofs.
  • She peered down the side of the building to see the roof of another structure less than five or six feet below.
  • The tiered seating is protected with a cantilevered roof structure that hovers over the stadium.
1.1The top inner surface of a covered area or space; the ceiling: the roof of the cave fell in
More example sentences
  • These are special liners on the sides and sometimes the roof and back of an oven, which are treated with a material that absorbs those greasy splashes.
1.2Used to signify a house or other building, especially in the context of hospitality or shelter: helping those without a roof over their heads they slept under the same roof a range of childcare facilities all under one roof while you live under my roof you’re not going to have a tattoo
More example sentences
  • Got to go to the charity ball so that those poor dears get a roof over their heads.
  • The woman worked two jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table.
  • He was nearly 40 before he could afford to feed his family or keep a roof over their heads.
2The upper limit or level of prices or wages: starting salary £12,185, rising to a roof of £16,835


[with object]
1Cover with a roof: the yard had been roughly roofed over with corrugated iron
More example sentences
  • Perhaps it'd once been a balcony around the edge of the courtyard, now it was opened out, floored in polished wood, roofed over, and provided with an ornate balcony rail.
  • This building looked massive and well built, and was roofed over with lead.
  • Joist holes show how the intervening space was roofed over.
1.1Function as the roof of: fan vaults roof these magnificent buildings
More example sentences
  • It, like the other buildings, was growing out of the tree, it was roofed by huge leaves that overlapped like shingles, the huge doors were composed of what looked like vines, but were far too thick, and too far above ground to be roots.



go through the roof

1(Of prices or figures) reach extreme or unexpected heights: rents have gone through the roof
More example sentences
  • Land supply slowed to a trickle; prices went through the roof and governments reaped huge rewards, instead of meeting the needs of people seeking to buy a home.
  • The only factor is that the prices have gone through the roof, and the quality of timber deteriorated, as the trees felled these days are much younger than those felled a decade ago.
  • Energy prices have gone through the roof and somehow taken a route through your wallet to get there.
2 (also hit the roof) Suddenly become very angry: when she surprised him in bed with another woman she hit the roof
More example sentences
  • When I got there on Wednesday and was told there were still no beds, I hit the roof.
  • I knew Kitty would hit the roof, so I picked up a bribe.
  • When she saw the coat and heard John had bought it for me she hit the roof.
be very angry, be furious, lose one's temper, go into a rage, breathe fire
informal go mad, go crazy, be hopping mad, be livid, go wild, go bananas, have a fit, blow one's top, blow a fuse, blow a gasket, do one's nut, go through the roof, go up the wall, go off the deep end, go ape, flip, flip one's lid, lose one's rag, be fit to be tied, go non-linear
British informal go spare, go crackers, get one's knickers in a twist
North American informal flip one's wig

raise the roof

see raise.

the roof of the world

The Himalayas.
Example sentences
  • Get up onto the roof of the world, they don't get bigger than the High Himalayas, and all the rest of life just seems to fall into place around you.
  • Hillary's memory remains crystal clear about what they endured during that final push to the top on May 29, 1953, which resulted in his becoming the first person in history to stand on the roof of the world.
  • Everest has been climbed by more than 1,300 men and women, including nearly 80 Japanese, since Hillary and Tenzing first set foot on the roof of the world.



Pronunciation: /ˈruːfləs/
Example sentences
  • I drop my pack and lean against the roofless building and watch the laborers.
  • His house is roofless and a small shanty next to it serves as a shelter.
  • There is still the unnerving scenery of headless trees, roofless homes, abandoned tankers and large looming landmine warnings.


Old English hrōf, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse hróf 'boat shed', Dutch roef 'deckhouse'. English alone has the general sense 'covering of a house'; other Germanic languages use forms related to thatch.

Words that rhyme with roof

aloof, behoof, goof, hoof, pouffe, proof, shadoof, spoof, Tartuffe, underproof, woof

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: roof

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