noun, plural roofs.
- the external upper covering of a house or other building.
- a frame for supporting this: an open-timbered roof.
- the highest part or summit: The Himalayas are the roof of the world.
- something that in form or position resembles the roof of a house, as the top of a car, the upper part of the mouth, etc.
- a house.
- Mining. the rock immediately above a horizontal mineral deposit.
verb (used with object)
- to provide or cover with a roof.
- go through the roof,
- to increase beyond all expectations: Foreign travel may very well go through the roof next year.
- Also hit the roof,Informal.to lose one’s temper; become extremely angry.
- raise the roof, Informal.
- to create a loud noise: The applause raised the roof.
- to complain or protest noisily: He’ll raise the roof when he sees that bill.
noun plural roofs (ruːfs, ruːvz)
- a structure that covers or forms the top of a building
- (in combination)the rooftop
- (as modifier)a roof garden
- the top covering of a vehicle, oven, or other structurethe roof of a car
- anatomy any structure that covers an organ or partthe roof of the mouth
- a highest or topmost point or partMount Everest is the roof of the world
- a house or other sheltera poor man’s roof
- mountaineering the underside of a projecting overhang
- hit the roof or go through the roof informal
- to get extremely angry; become furious
- to rise or increase steeply
- raise the roof
- to create a boisterous disturbance
- to react or protest heatedly
- (tr) to provide or cover with a roof or rooflike part
Old English hrof “roof, ceiling, top, summit; heaven, sky,” also figuratively, “highest point of something,” from Proto-Germanic *khrofam (cf. Old Frisian rhoof “roof,” Middle Dutch roof, rouf “cover, roof,” Dutch roef “deckhouse, cabin, coffin-lid,” Middle High German rof “penthouse,” Old Norse hrof “boat shed”).
No apparent connections outside Germanic. “English alone has retained the word in a general sense, for which the other languages use forms corresponding to OE. þæc thatch” [OED]. Roof of the mouth is from late Old English. Raise the roof “create an uproar” is attested from 1860, originally in U.S. Southern dialect.
early 15c., from roof (n.). Related: Roofed; roofing.
- The upper surface of an anatomical structure, especially one having a vaulted inner structure.
Be extremely noisy and boisterous, as in They’d had a lot to drink and were really raising the roof last night.
Complain loudly and angrily, as in When the landlord increased the rent, the tenants raised the roof about his lack of repairs and maintenance. Both usages convey the image of the roof being lifted because it cannot contain either noise or rage. [Slang; mid-1800s] Also see hit the ceiling.
In addition to the idiom beginning with roof
- roof over one’s head, a
- go through the roof
- hit the ceiling (roof)
- like a cat on hot bricks (a hot tin roof)
- raise the roof