[hoist or, sometimes, hahyst]
verb (used with object)
  1. to raise or lift, especially by some mechanical appliance: to hoist a flag; to hoist the mainsail.
  2. to raise to one's lips and drink; drink (especially beer or whiskey) with gusto: Let's go hoist a few beers.
  3. Archaic. a simple past tense and past participle of hoise.
  1. an apparatus for hoisting, as a block and tackle, a derrick, or a crane.
  2. act of hoisting; a lift: Give that sofa a hoist at your end.
  3. Nautical.
    1. the vertical dimension amidships of any square sail that is hoisted with a yard.Compare drop(def 28).
    2. the distance between the hoisted and the lowered position of such a yard.
    3. the dimension of a fore-and-aft sail along the luff.
    4. a number of flags raised together as a signal.
  4. (on a flag)
    1. the vertical dimension as flown from a vertical staff.
    2. the edge running next to the staff.Compare fly1(def 30b).
  1. hoist by/with one's own petard. petard(def 4).

Origin of hoist

1540–50; later variant of hoise, with -t as in against, etc.
Related formshoist·er, nounun·hoist·ed, adjective

Synonyms for hoist

1. elevate. See raise.

Antonyms for hoist

1. lower.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hoisting

heave, erect, raise, uphold, upraise, elevate, uplift, rear, uprear

Examples from the Web for hoisting

Contemporary Examples of hoisting

Historical Examples of hoisting

  • Some other men and a woman were scanning the hoisting machinery with superior looks.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Evidently the work of hoisting anchors and canvas was done by steam.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • They followed her to the cage, and the big 293 miner gave the hoisting bell.

    The Plunderer

    Roy Norton

  • As a matter of fact I do not approve of the hoisting of flags on the church tower.

    The Red Hand of Ulster

    George A. Birmingham

  • Frantically, the crew backed the sails, hoisting them to take all the wind possible.

    The Players

    Everett B. Cole

British Dictionary definitions for hoisting


  1. (tr) to raise or lift up, esp by mechanical means
  2. hoist with one's own petard See petard (def. 2)
  1. any apparatus or device for hoisting
  2. the act of hoisting
  3. See rotary clothesline
  4. nautical
    1. the amidships height of a sail bent to the yard with which it is hoistedCompare drop (def. 15)
    2. the difference between the set and lowered positions of this yard
  5. nautical the length of the luff of a fore-and-aft sail
  6. nautical a group of signal flags
  7. the inner edge of a flag next to the staffCompare fly 1 (def. 25)
Derived Formshoister, noun

Word Origin for hoist

C16: variant of hoise, probably from Low German; compare Dutch hijschen, German hissen
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 hoisting



1540s, "to raise," earlier hoise (c.1500), probably originally past tense of Middle English hysse (late 15c.), which is probably from Middle Dutch hyssen (Dutch hijsen) "to hoist," related to Low German hissen and Old Norse hissa upp "raise." A nautical word found in most European languages (e.g. French hisser, Italian issare, Spanish izar), but it is uncertain which had it first. Related: Hoisted; hoisting. In phrase hoist with one's own petard, it is the past participle.

For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petar: and it shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon: O 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
["Hamlet," Act III, Scene iv]

Meaning "to lift and remove" was prevalent c.1550-1750. As a noun, 1650s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper