1. A collection of logs, boards, pieces of timber, or the like, fastened, together, either for their own collective conveyance on the water, or to serve as a support in conveying other things; a float.

2. A collection of logs, fallen trees, etc. (such as is formed in some Western rivers of the United States), which obstructs navigation.

3. [Perhaps akin to raff a heap] A large collection of people or things taken indiscriminately. "A whole raft of folks." Raft bridge. A bridge whose points of support are rafts. A bridge that consists of floating timbers fastened together. Raft duck. [The name alludes to its swimming in dense flocks.

<zoology> A large, square port in a vessel's side for loading or unloading timber or other bulky articles; a timber or lumber port.

Origin: Originally, a rafter, spar, and fr. Icel. Raptr a rafter; akin to Dan. Raft, Prov. G. Raff a rafter, spar; cf. OHG. Rafo, ravo, a beam, rafter, Icel. Raf roof. Cf. Rafter.

(01 Mar 1998)

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