From Middle English rof, from Old English hrōf (“roof, ceiling; top, summit; heaven, sky”), from Proto-Germanic *hrōfą (“roof”), from Proto-Indo-European *krāpo- (“roof”), from Proto-Indo-European *krāwǝ- (“to cover, heap”). Cognate with Scots ruif (“roof”), Dutch roef (“a cabin, wooden cover, deckhouse”), Low German rof (“roof”), Icelandic hróf (“a shed under which ships are built or kept, roof of a boathouse”).
- IPA(key): /ɹuːf/, /ɹʊf/
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- Rhymes: -ʊf, -uːf
- The cover at the top of a building.
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path […]. It twisted and turned, […] and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights. 'Twas the house I'd seen the roof of from the beach.
- 1931, Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Montgomery Ward (publisher), draft:
- The very first sound that you’ll hear on the roof / (Provided there’s fog) will be Rudolph’s small hoof.
- The upper part of a cavity.
2011 October 1, John Sinnott, “Aston Villa 2-0 Wigan”, BBC Sport:
- 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.
- The palate is the roof of the mouth.
- Archaeologists discovered that the cave's roof was decked with paintings.
- (mining) The surface or bed of rock immediately overlying a bed of coal or a flat vein.
- The plural rooves is uncommon and is considered by some to be incorrect, though it is parallel to more common plurals like hooves and staves.
- In referring to the top of a building, refers both to the object itself (“the roof was blown off in the tornado”) and to the location of being on the roof (“it can be dangerous to go on the roof to fix the antenna”). In the later sense (of “location”) it is often used attributively, largely interchangeably with rooftop.