use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

rake 1 (rāk)
Share:
n.
1. A long-handled implement with a row of projecting teeth at its head, used especially to gather leaves or to loosen or smooth earth.
2. A device that resembles such an implement.
v. raked, rak·ing, rakes
v.tr.
1.
a. To gather or move with or as if with a rake: rake leaves into a pile; rake in the gambling chips.
b. Informal To gain in abundance. Often used with in: a successful company that raked in the profits.
2.
a. To smooth, scrape, or loosen with a rake or similar implement: rake the soil for planting.
b. To move over or across swiftly or harshly: Cold winds raked the plains.
3. To pull or drag (a comb or one's fingers, for example) over or through something, such as one's hair.
4. To scrape; scratch: The cat raked my arm with its claws.
5. To aim heavy gunfire along the length of.
v.intr.
1. To use a rake.
2. To conduct a thorough search: raked through the files for the misplaced letter.
Phrasal Verb:
rake up
To revive or bring to light; uncover: rake up old gossip.
Idiom:
rake over the coals
To reprimand severely.

[Middle English, from Old English raca; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

raker n.
(click for a larger image)
rake1

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
rake 2 (rāk)
Share:
n.
A usually well-to-do man who is dissolute or promiscuous.

[Short for RAKEHELL.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
rake 3 (rāk)
Share:
intr. & tr.v. raked, rak·ing, rakes
To slant or cause to incline from the perpendicular: propeller blades that rake backward from the shaft; rake a ship's mast.
n.
1. Inclination from the perpendicular: the rake of a jet plane's wings.
2. The angle between the cutting edge of a tool and a plane perpendicular to the working surface to which the tool is applied.
3.
a. The angle at which a roof is inclined.
b. The inclined edge of a pitched roof or the roof of a gable or dormer.

[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.