v. lift·ed, lift·ing, lifts
a. To direct or carry from a lower to a higher position; raise: lift one's eyes; lifted the suitcase.
b. To transport by air: The helicopter lifted the entire team to the meet.
a. To revoke by taking back; rescind: lifted the embargo.
b. To bring an end to (a blockade or siege) by removing forces.
3. To cease (artillery fire) in an area.
a. To raise in condition, rank, or esteem: work that lifted her in the eyes of her colleagues.
b. To uplift; elate: Your telephone call really lifted my spirits.
5. To remove (plants) from the ground for transplanting.
6. To project or sound in loud, clear tones: lifted their voices in song.
7. Informal To steal; pilfer: A thief lifted my wallet.
8. Informal To copy from something already published; plagiarize: lifted whole paragraphs from the encyclopedia.
9. To pay off or clear (a debt or mortgage, for example).
10. To perform cosmetic surgery on (the face, for example), especially in order to remove wrinkles or sagging skin.
a. Sports To hit (a golf ball) very high into the air.
b. To pick up (a golf ball) to place it in a better lie.
c. To shoot or flip (a puck) so that it rises sharply off the ice.
a. To rise; ascend.
b. To yield to upward pressure: These windows lift easily.
a. To disappear or disperse by or as if by rising: By afternoon the smog had lifted.
b. To stop temporarily: The rain lifted by morning.
3. To become elevated; soar: Their spirits lifted when help came.
1. The act or process of rising or raising to a higher position.
2. Power or force available for raising: the lift of a pump.
3. An organized effort or a flight transporting supplies or people by airplane; an airlift.
a. The extent or height to which something is raised or rises; the amount of elevation.
b. The distance or space through which something is raised or rises.
5. A rise or an elevation in the level of the ground.
6. An elevation of the spirits: The good news gave us a lift.
7. A raised, high, or erect position, as of a part of the body: the lift of his chin.
8. A machine or device designed to pick up, raise, or carry something.
9. One of the layers of leather, rubber, or other material making up the heel of a shoe.
10. Chiefly British A passenger or cargo elevator.
11. A ride in a vehicle given to help someone reach a destination: gave my friend a lift into town.
12. Assistance or help: gave her a lift with her heavy packages.
13. A set of pumps used in a mine.
14. The component of the total aerodynamic force acting on an airfoil or on an entire aircraft or winged missile perpendicular to the relative wind and normally exerted in an upward direction, opposing the pull of gravity.
To begin flight: The spacecraft lifted off at noon.
To increase the range of artillery fire by elevating the muzzle of a piece.
[Middle English liften, from Old Norse lypta.]
Synonyms: lift, raise, elevate, hoist, heave, boost
These verbs mean to move something from a lower to a higher level or position. Lift sometimes stresses the expenditure of effort: a trunk too heavy to lift. Raise often implies movement to an approximately vertical position: raised my hand so I could ask a question. Elevate emphasizes the sustained or permanent status of the change in position: elevated his sprained ankle; elevated the highway over major thoroughfares. Hoist is applied principally to the lifting of heavy objects, often by mechanical means: hoist a sunken ship. To heave is to lift or raise with great effort or force: heaved the pack onto his back. Boost suggests upward movement effected by pushing from below: boosted the child into the saddle. See Also Synonyms at steal.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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:
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.