Pronunciation Verb

lift (lifts, present participle lifting; past lifted, past participle lifted)

  1. (ambitransitive) To raise or rise.
    The fog eventually lifted, leaving the streets clear.
    You never lift a finger to help me!
    • c1490, Of Penance and Confession be master Jhon Yrlandː
      Liftand (lifting) thy hands and thy eyen to Heaven.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      Their walk had continued not more than ten minutes when they crossed a creek by a wooden bridge and came to a row of mean houses standing flush with the street. At the door of one, an old black woman had stooped to lift a large basket, piled high with laundered clothes.
  2. (transitive, slang) To steal.
    • , Rudyard Kipling, The Ballad of East and West
      Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border side,
      And he has lifted the Colonel's mare that is the Colonel's pride.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter VI, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855 ↗:
      “Wilbert Cream is a ... what's the word?” I referred to the letter. “A kleptomaniac […] Does any thought occur to you?” “It most certainly does. I am thinking of your uncle's collection of old silver.” “Me, too.” “It presents a grave temptation to the unhappy young man.” “I don't know that I'd call him unhappy. He probably thoroughly enjoys lifting the stuff.”
  3. (transitive, slang) To arrest (a person).
    • 2000, Marie Smyth, ‎Marie-Therese Fay, Personal Accounts From Northern Ireland's Troubles
      Maybe the police lifted him and he's in Castlereagh [Interrogation Centre] because he'd been lifted three or four times previously and took to Castlereagh. They used to come in and raid the house and take him away.
  4. (transitive) To remove (a ban, restriction, etc.).
  5. (transitive) To alleviate, to lighten (pressure, tension, stress, etc.)
  6. (transitive) to cause to move upwards.
  7. (informal, intransitive) To lift weights; to weight-lift.
    She lifts twice a week at the gym.
  8. To try to raise something; to exert the strength for raising or bearing.
    • RQ
      strained by lifting at a weight too heavy
  9. To elevate or improve in rank, condition, etc.; often with up.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 1, scene 1]:
      The Roman virtues lift up mortal man.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 1 Timothy 3:6 ↗:
      being lifted up with pride
  10. (obsolete) To bear; to support.
  11. To collect, as moneys due; to raise.
  12. (computing, programming) To transform (a function) into a corresponding function in a different context.
  13. (finance) To buy a security or other asset previously offered for sale.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: жать


  1. An act of lifting or raising.
  2. The act of transporting someone in a vehicle; a ride; a trip.
    He gave me a lift to the bus station.
  3. (British, Australia, New Zealand) Mechanical device for vertically transporting goods or people between floors in a building; an elevator.
    Take the lift to the fourth floor.
  4. An upward force, such as the force that keeps aircraft aloft.
  5. (measurement) The difference in elevation between the upper pool and lower pool of a waterway, separated by lock.
  6. (historical slang) A thief.
    • 1977, Gãmini Salgãdo, The Elizabethan Underworld, Folio Society 2006, page 32:
      The lift came into the shop dressed like a country gentleman, but was careful not to have a cloak about him, so that the tradesman could see he had no opportunity to conceal any goods about his person.
  7. (dance) The lifting of a dance partner into the air.
  8. Permanent construction with a built-in platform that is lifted vertically.
  9. An improvement in mood.
    • November 17 2012, BBC Sport: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
      The dismissal of a player who left Arsenal for Manchester City before joining Tottenham gave the home players and fans a noticeable lift.
  10. The amount or weight to be lifted.
    What's the maximum lift of this crane?
  11. The space or distance through which anything is lifted.
  12. A rise; a degree of elevation.
    the lift of a lock in canals
  13. A liftgate.
  14. (nautical) A rope leading from the masthead to the extremity of a yard below, and used for raising or supporting the end of the yard.
  15. (engineering) One of the steps of a cone pulley.
  16. (shoemaking) A layer of leather in the heel of a shoe.
  17. (horology) That portion of the vibration of a balance during which the impulse is given.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

lift (uncountable)

  1. (UK dialectal, chiefly, Scotland) Air.
  2. (UK dialectal, chiefly, Scotland) The sky; the heavens; firmament; atmosphere.
  • (gas or vapour breathed) air
  • (firmament, ethereal region surrounding the earth) atmosphere
  • (the heavens, sky) welkin

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