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roof definition


This page has 13 definitions of roof in English, Dutch, Flemish, and Middle English. Roof is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use roof in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Roof

English roof definition

Tiled roofs covering buildings.


Etymology 1

From Middle English rof, from Old English hrōf (roof, ceiling; top, summit; heaven, sky), from Proto-Germanic *hrōfą (roof).


roof (plural roofs or rooves)

  1. (architecture) The external covering at the top of a building.
    The roof was blown off by the tornado.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients][1]:
      'Twas the house I'd seen the roof of from the beach.
    • 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward, draft:
      The very first sound that you’ll hear on the roof
      (Provided there’s fog) will be Rudolph’s small hoof.
    • 1984, Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three (lyrics and music), “The Roof Is on Fire”:
      The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!
      We don't need no water: Let the motherfucker burn!
      Burn, motherfucker, burn!
  2. The top external level of a building.
    Let's go up to the roof.
    • 1962, Gerry Goffin & al. (lyrics and music), “Up on the Roof”:
      When this old world starts getting me down
      And people are just too much for me to face,
      I climb way up to the top of the stairs
      And all my cares just drift right into space
      On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
      And there, the world below can't bother me...
  3. The upper part of a cavity.
    The palate is the roof of the mouth.
    • 2011 October 1, John Sinnott, “Aston Villa 2-0 Wigan”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      As Bent pulled away to the far post, Agbonlahor opted to go it alone, motoring past Gary Caldwell before unleashing a shot into the roof of the net.
  4. (mining) The surface or bed of rock immediately overlying a bed of coal or a flat vein.
  5. (climbing) An overhanging rock wall
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English rofen, roven (to roof), from the noun (see above).


roof (third-person singular simple present roofs, present participle roofing, simple past and past participle roofed)

  1. (transitive) To cover or furnish with a roof.
  2. To traverse buildings by walking or climbing across their roofs.
  3. (transitive, slang) To put into prison, to bird.
    • 1998 March 4, “Law and Disorder”, in Beverly Hills, 90210, season 08, episode 22:
      Did you see them, David? I mean, did you see them looking at me? I-I'm walking out of the court, and everybody was practically – yeah, they were gawking. [] I mean, Noah roofed me, I proved it, end of story.
    • 2000 January 1, Mr. Metaphor (lyrics), “Stupid”, in The Will Tell Compilation Vol. 1: Thats Right Inc., performed by Word A' Mouth, Block McCloud and Mr. Metaphor:
      I’m open, hype off the chronic I was smoking, feeling zooted
      That Brooklyn shit got me stupid
      I’m loose, kid – that’s what the overproof did
      What the ruck you looking at, son? You’ll get roofed, kid!
    • 2012 November 15, “Brown Bag Wrap”, in Rare Chandeliers, performed by Action Bronson:
      Inhale the mystical, the blue shit
      See me on the stoop shit, act stupid at the park, the ball, get roofed
      Baby see the cops, the drugs, she boofed it
      Foie gras at every meal, that means I triple-goosed it
    • 2018 May 5, AM (lyrics), “Attempted 1.0”, performed by Skengdo & AM of 410:
      You don’t want war, you’re shook of it
      Hella man dash when their friend got roofed
  4. (transitive) To shelter as if under a roof.
    • 1865, Thomas Greenbury, Pleasant Rambles Over Moors, Mountains, Mines, and Waterfalls[3]:
      They reached him: the pieces of rock had roofed him over—he was without injury or scratch.
    • 1903, Henry James, The Ambassadors, Part 12 Chapter 36:
      It built him softly round, it roofed him warmly over, it rested, all so firm, on selection.
Derived terms


Dutch roof definition


From Middle Dutch roof, from Old Dutch *rōf, *rouf, from Proto-West Germanic *raub, from Proto-Germanic *raubaz. More at robe.



roof m (plural roven, diminutive roofje n)

  1. robbery, robbing, banditry, rapine

Derived terms


Related terms



  1. first-person singular present indicative of roven
  2. imperative of roven

Middle English roof definition



  1. Alternative form of rof