Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: WATER

Sense: 1, 3-4
Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old Norse
Origin: raptr 'large piece of wood, rafter'
Sense: 2
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: raff 'mixture of things' (17-19 centuries), influenced by RAFT1

raft

noun
     
raft [countable]
1TTW a flat floating structure, usually made of pieces of wood tied together, used as a boat
2

a raft of something

a large number of things:
The company has launched a whole raft of new software products.
3 a flat floating structure that you can sit on, jump from etc when you are swimming
4TTWTTA a small flat rubber boat filled with air, used for example if a boat sinks
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