I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lyft Date: before 12th century chiefly Scottish heavens, sky II. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse lypta; akin to Old English lyft air — more at loft Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to raise from a lower to a higher position ; elevate b. to raise in rank or condition c. to raise in rate or amount 2. to put an end to (a blockade or siege) by withdrawing or causing the withdrawal of investing forces 3. revoke, rescind <
lift an embargo
4. a. steal <
had her purse lifted
b. plagiarize c. to take out of normal setting <
lift a word out of context
5. to take up (as a root crop or transplants) from the ground 6. to pay off (an obligation) <
lift a mortgage
7. to move from one place to another (as by aircraft) ; transport 8. to take up (a fingerprint) from a surface intransitive verb 1. a. ascend, rise <
the rocket lifted off
b. to appear elevated (as above surrounding objects) 2. of inclement weather to dissipate and clear • liftable adjectivelifter noun Synonyms: lift, raise, rear, elevate, hoist, heave, boost mean to move from a lower to a higher place or position. lift usually implies exerting effort to overcome resistance of weight <
lift the chair while I vacuum
. raise carries a stronger implication of bringing up to the vertical or to a high position <
scouts raising a flagpole
. rear may add an element of suddenness to raise <
suddenly reared itself up on its hind legs
. elevate may replace lift or raise especially when exalting or enhancing is implied <
elevated the taste of the public
. hoist implies lifting something heavy especially by mechanical means <
hoisted the cargo on board
. heave implies lifting and throwing with great effort or strain <
heaved the heavy crate inside
. boost suggests assisting to climb or advance by a push <
boosted his brother over the fence
. III. noun Date: 14th century 1. the amount that may be lifted at one time ; load 2. a. the action or an instance of lifting b. the action or an instance of rising c. elevated carriage (as of a body part) d. the lifting up (as of a dancer) usually by a partner 3. a device (as a handle or latch) for lifting 4. an act of stealing ; theft 5. a. assistance, help b. a ride especially along one's way 6. a layer in the heel of a shoe 7. a rise or advance in position or condition 8. a slight rise or elevation 9. the distance or extent to which something rises 10. an apparatus or machine used for hoisting: as a. a set of pumps used in a mine b. chiefly British elevator 1b c. an apparatus for raising an automobile (as for repair) d. ski lift 11. a. an elevating influence b. an elevation of the spirit 12. a. the component of the total aerodynamic force acting on an airplane or airfoil that is perpendicular to the relative wind and that for an airplane constitutes the upward force that opposes the pull of gravity b. an updraft that can be used to increase altitude (as of a sailplane) 13. an organized movement of people, equipment, or supplies by some form of transportation; especially airlift

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Lift — Sm std. stil. (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. lift, einer Ableitung von ne. lift heben , dieses aus anord. lypta in die Höhe heben, lüften , zu anord. lopt, loft n. Luft . S. auch lüften (unter Luft).    Ebenso nndl. lift, nschw. lift,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

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