from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A platform or an enclosure raised and lowered in a vertical shaft to transport people or freight.
  • noun The enclosure or platform with its operating equipment, motor, cables, and accessories.
  • noun A movable control surface, usually attached to the horizontal stabilizer of an aircraft, that is used to produce motion up or down.
  • noun A mechanism, often with buckets or scoops attached to a conveyor, used for hoisting materials.
  • noun A granary equipped with devices for hoisting and discharging grain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who or that which raises, lifts, or exalts. Specifically
  • noun In anat.: A muscle which raises a part of the body, as the lip or eyelid: same as levator.
  • noun Same as extensor.
  • noun A surgical instrument used for raising a depressed or fractured part of the skull. Also called elevatory.
  • noun In mech., a hoisting apparatus; a lift.
  • noun A building containing one or more mechanical elevators, especially a warehouse for the storage of grain.
  • noun In surgery: An instrument for extracting the stump of a tooth.
  • noun Same as repositor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, raises or lifts up anything.
  • noun A mechanical contrivance, usually an endless belt or chain with a series of scoops or buckets, for transferring grain to an upper loft for storage.
  • noun A cage or platform (called an elevator car) and the hoisting machinery in a hotel, warehouse, mine, etc., for conveying persons, goods, etc., to or from different floors or levels; -- called in England a lift; the cage or platform itself.
  • noun A building for elevating, storing, and discharging, grain.
  • noun (Anat.) A muscle which serves to raise a part of the body, as the leg or the eye.
  • noun (Surg.) An instrument for raising a depressed portion of a bone.
  • noun (Aëronautics) A movable plane or group of planes used to control the altitude or fore-and-aft poise or inclination of an airship or flying machine.
  • noun the boxes in which the upper pulley, belt, and lower pulley, respectively, run in a grain elevator.
  • noun shoes having unusually thick soles and heels, designed to make a person appear taller than he or she actually is.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US Permanent construction with a built-in platform that is lifted vertically.
  • noun A silo used for storing wheat, corn or other grain (grain elevator)
  • noun A control surface of an aircraft responsible for controling the pitching motion of the machine.
  • noun Trademark for a type of shoe having an insert lift to make the wearer appear taller.
  • noun A dental instrument used to pry up ("elevate") teeth in difficult extractions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the airfoil on the tailplane of an aircraft that makes it ascend or descend
  • noun lifting device consisting of a platform or cage that is raised and lowered mechanically in a vertical shaft in order to move people from one floor to another in a building


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • In pidgin English: "Room go up, belly down."

    November 27, 2007

  • "I adore the elevator, I don't take it because I'm lazy — I meditate in it. You press the button without any effort, you go up or descend, it could even break down while you're inside. It's exactly like life, full of breakdowns. Now you're up, now you're down. I was up . . . in Paradise . . . in Shiraz, living happily with my wife and children, and now I'm down . . . in Hell, suffering from homesickness. The elevator is a tool for meditation."

    - Amara Lakhous, 'The Truth According to Parviz Mansoor Samadi', translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein.

    November 10, 2008