a person or thing that elevates or raises.
a moving platform or cage for carrying passengers or freight from one level to another, as in a building.
any of various mechanical devices for raising objects or materials.
a building in which grain is stored and handled by means of mechanical elevator and conveyor devices.
Aeronautics. a hinged horizontal surface on an airplane or the like, used to control the longitudinal inclination and usually placed at the tail end of the fuselage.

Origin of elevator

1640–50; < Late Latin ēlevātor, equivalent to ēlevā(re) (see elevate) + -tor -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for elevator

escalator, hoist, dumbwaiter, conveyor

Examples from the Web for elevator

Contemporary Examples of elevator

Historical Examples of elevator

  • If it was a case for her, the elevator would go up to the operating-room.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The machine from elevator to tail plane bristles in original points.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • The crowd is around the foot of the staircase waiting for the elevator.

  • Once our vehicle entered an elevator and was let down a brief distance.

  • As I walked toward the elevator, I was painfully conscious of two ideas.

British Dictionary definitions for elevator



a person or thing that elevates
mainly US a mechanical hoist for raising something, esp grain or coal, often consisting of a chain of scoops linked together on a conveyor belt
mainly US and Canadian a platform, compartment, or cage raised or lowered in a vertical shaft to transport persons or goods in a buildingAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): lift
mainly US and Canadian a large granary equipped with an elevator and, usually, facilities for cleaning and grading the grain
any muscle that raises a part of the body
a surgical instrument for lifting a part of the body
a control surface on the tailplane of an aircraft, for making it climb or descend
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

Word Origin and History for elevator

1640s, originally of muscles, from Latin elevator, agent noun from past participle stem of elevare (see elevate). As a name for a mechanical lift (originally for grain) attested from 1787. Elevator music is attested by 1963. Elevator as a lift for shoes is from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

elevator in Medicine




A surgical instrument used to elevate tissues or to raise a sunken part, such as a depressed fragment of bone.
A dental instrument used to remove teeth or parts of teeth that cannot be gripped with a forceps or to loosen teeth and roots before using forceps.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.