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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."

Definitions of rafter
  1. noun
    one of several parallel sloping beams that support a roof
    synonyms: balk, baulk
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    type of:
    beam
    long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction
  2. verb
    provide (a ceiling) with rafters
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    type of:
    furnish, provide, render, supply
    give something useful or necessary to
  3. noun
    someone who travels by raft
    synonyms: raftman, raftsman
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    type of:
    traveler, traveller
    a person who changes location
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