rafter

A rafter is a long board that supports the peak of a roof. If your bedroom is in the attic of your house, you can lie in bed staring up at the rafters.

Rafters are a type of beam, a heavy supportive board that holds up whatever is above it in a building. Some make the distinction that rafters support a roof, while beams support heavier loads (such as the floor of an upper story in a house). Most rafters are made of wood, and sometimes they're left visible in the ceiling as a design element. The word comes from a root related the the Old Norse raptr, "log."

Primary Meanings of rafter

1.
nv
one of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof
provide (a ceiling) with rafters
2.
n
someone who travels by raft
Full Definitions of rafter
1

n one of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof

Synonyms:
balk, baulk
Type of:
beam
long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction

v provide (a ceiling) with rafters

Type of:
furnish, provide, render, supply
give something useful or necessary to
2

n someone who travels by raft

Synonyms:
raftman, raftsman
Type of:
traveler, traveller
a person who changes location

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.