[ duhm-wey-ter ]
See synonyms for dumbwaiter on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small elevator, manually or electrically operated, consisting typically of a box with shelves, used in apartment houses, restaurants, and large private dwellings for moving dishes, food, garbage, etc., between floors.

  2. British.

    • an auxiliary serving table.

    • a serving stand with tiers of revolving shelves.

    • a serving cart.

Origin of dumbwaiter

First recorded in 1745–55; dumb + waiter

Words Nearby dumbwaiter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dumbwaiter in a sentence

  • For it opened upon what seemed to be just a dumbwaiter shaft.

    The Bradys' Chinese Clew | Francis Worcester Doughty
  • All dishes are to be removed quietly, and either placed in a dumbwaiter or given in charge of a maidservant just outside the door.

    Social Life | Maud C. Cooke

British Dictionary definitions for dumbwaiter


/ (ˈdʌmˌweɪtə) /

  1. British

    • a stand placed near a dining table to hold food

    • a revolving circular tray placed on a table to hold food: US and Canadian name: lazy Susan

  2. a lift for carrying food, rubbish, etc, between floors

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012