Rake Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Do you know the meaning of rake? We’ll give you the scoop! Read on as we explore the term rake to discover its definition, origin, and more.

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In a world full of confusing words — such as “affect” vs. “effect” or “principle” vs. “principal” — there are also easy terms. Take the word “rake” for example; just about everyone knows what a “rake” is. That said, not everyone can properly define the term. 

In this article, we explore the word rake to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, antonyms, and more. Interested? Keep reading! 

What Is the Definition of Rake?

Although you may already know that a rake is a tool commonly used in gardening, let’s take a look at some of the official definitions for rake provided by a few trusted dictionaries:

  • The Collins Dictionary says a rake is a garden tool consisting of a row of wooden or metal teeth attached to a long handle.
  • According to Lexico provided by the Oxford English Dictionary, the word rake can be defined as an implement consisting of a usually long pole with a crossbar toothed like a comb at the end or with several tines held together by a crosspiece. 

After reviewing the definitions listed above, we can conclude that the noun rake refers to a long-handled tool with a row of tines. However, when used as a verb, rake means to gather, loosen, or smooth with or as if with a rake. 

What Is the Origin of Rake?

The adjective rake comes from Middle English rake, the Old English raca, racu, and ræce (aka, a tool with a row of pointed teeth, rake), the Proto-Germanic rakō, rekô, and the Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵ- ( meaning to straighten or right oneself).

On the flip side, the verb rake is partly derived from Middle English raken (which quite literally means “to rake” or “to gather by raking”), Old Norse raka (meaning “to scrape”), Proto-Germanic raką, and the Proto-Indo-European h₃reǵ- (which means “to straighten or right oneself”).

What Are Synonyms and Antonyms of Rake?

To expand your overall knowledge of the term rake, we suggest picking up a handy-dandy thesaurus to learn its synonyms and antonyms. 

Synonyms are words or phrases with the same or similar meaning, whereas antonyms are words or phrases with different meanings.  

Synonyms of rake include:

  • Comb
  • Libertine
  • Roue
  • Debauchee
  • Rakehell
  • Scour
  • Harrow
  • Hoe
  • Smooth
  • Gather
  • Level
  • Break up
  • Flatten
  • Ransack
  • Profligate
  • Brush
  • Examine
  • Move
  • Sweep

Antonyms of rake include:

  • Plant
  • Divide
  • Distribute
  • Disperse
  • Scatter
  • Lose
  • Ignore
  • Standstill
  • Low
  • Hide
  • Abandon
  • Neglect

Does Rake Mean Anything Else?

Believe it or not, rake isn’t just the name of a gardening tool but also the name of someone who is known to be a player. An Old English word that means “immoral womanizer,” rake was widely used in England during the 16th to 19th centuries to refer to unethical young male members of the aristocracy. 

At some point in the 20th century, the word rake fell from common use; however, thanks largely in part to the Netflix series Bridgerton, it is now experiencing a renaissance. 

Examples of Rake in a Sentence

Ready to put your knowledge of rake to the test? Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with properly using our word of the day. If you need a little help, feel free to explore our sentence examples listed below:

Did you know that rastrillo means rake in Spanish?

He’s such a dissolute person; in other words, he’s a rake.

There are a ton of idioms, but my favorite has to be raking in the dough!

If you’re into rakes, then go out with the guy.

After school today, I need to rake up all the leaves in the backyard.

I need a garden rake to clean up this pile of leaves.

Do you think you can help me rake leaves on Saturday?

I’m so sick and tired of going out with rakes; i”m ready for my prince charming!

How to Say Rake in Other Languages

Wondering how to say rake in a different language? Here is a shortlist of the word rake in other languages:

  • Italian: Rastrellare (or rastrello)
  • Polish: Grabie
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Rastelo (or ancinho)
  • Dutch: Hark
  • French: Râteau (or râtisser)
  • Czech: Hrábě
  • Finnish: Harava
  • German: Harke
  • Norwegian: Rive
  • Romanian: Greblă
  • Russian: гра́бли
  • Swedish: Kratta 
  • Thai: คราด 
  • Turkish: Tırmık 
  • Ukrainian: Rраблі
  • Vietnamese: Cái cào 


When used as a noun, rake is the name of a garden tool that’s commonly used to make the earth level or collect leaves. However, the word rake means to gather, draw, or remove with a rake when used as a verb. 

Rake is also a slang word that refers to someone who has been around and has had several relationships. Shortened from rakeshell — a derivative of the Old English rakel, meaning “rash,” as in acting before thinking — rakes are players.  

We hope this guide has provided you with a complete understanding of the term rake and its origin. If you’d like to discover more interesting words, head over to our website to find thought-provoking word lists, useful grammar tools, and more!


  1. RAKE English Definition and Meaning | Lexico.com
  2. RAKE : definition | The Cambridge English Dictionary
  3. Rake definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary