Alternative formsEdit


A compound of roof +‎ tree.



rooftree (plural rooftrees)

  1. The primary beam of a roof, ridgepole; hence, the roof. [from 14th c.]
    • 1942, Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Canongate 2006, p. 985:
      there an Annunciation that annihilates time by showing a rooftree throw the shadow of a cross between the Virgin and the angel []
    • Now for me the woods may wither, now for me the rooftree fall. — Tennyson.
  2. (figuratively) A home; household.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      [T]he merry company flocked into the King's House, to dance again and drink tea, and make more love, and play round games, and joke, and sing songs, and eat supper under old Colonel Stafford's snug and kindly roof-tree.
    • 1910, ‘Saki’, "The Lost Sanjak", Reginald in Russia:
      With the idea, presumably, of inducing the doctor's wife to leave her husband's roof-tree for some habitation which would be run at my expense, I had crammed my pockets with a store of banknotes, which represented a good deal of my immediate worldly wealth.
    • 1955, Mildred Clingerman, The Last Prophet:
      He had forgotten that a prophet is without honor under his own rooftree.