verb (used with object), raised, rais·ing.

verb (used without object), raised, rais·ing.

to be able to be lifted or pulled up: The window raises easily.
(in cards, poker, etc.) to increase a previous bet or bid: My cards weren't good enough to let me raise.



    raise Cain. Cain1(def 3).

Origin of raise

1150–1200; Middle English reisen (v.) < Scandinavian (compare Old Norse reisa); compare also Gothic -raisjan (causative verb formed on Germanic base of Old English rīsan to rise), Old English rǣran to rear2
Related formsrais·a·ble, raise·a·ble, adjectiverais·er, nounnon·rais·a·ble, adjectivenon·raise·a·ble, adjectivere·raise, verb (used with object), re·raised, re·rais·ing.un·rais·a·ble, adjectiveun·raise·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedraise razeraise rise (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms for raise

1, 2. loft. Raise, lift, heave, hoist imply bringing something up above its original position. Raise, the most general word, may mean to bring something to or toward an upright position with one end resting on the ground; or it may be used in the sense of lift, moving an object a comparatively short distance upward but breaking completely its physical contact with the place where it had been: to raise a ladder; to raise ( lift ) a package. Heave implies lifting with effort or exertion: to heave a huge box onto a truck. Hoist implies lifting slowly and gradually something of considerable weight, usually with mechanical help, such as given by a crane or derrick: to hoist steel beams to the top of the framework of a building. 3. arouse, awaken. 4. construct, rear. 7. cultivate. 9. originate, produce, effect. 13. excite. 14. invigorate, inspirit. 15. elevate, promote, exalt. 17. heighten, enlarge. 18. amplify, augment.

Antonyms for raise

1. lower.

Usage note

Raise and rise are similar in form and meaning but different in grammatical use. Raise is the causative of rise; to raise something is to cause it to rise. Raise is almost always used transitively. Its forms are regular: Raise the window. The flag had been raised before we arrived. Raise in the intransitive sense “to rise up, arise” is nonstandard: Dough raises better when the temperature is warm.
Rise is almost exclusively intransitive in its standard uses. Its forms are irregular: My husband usually rises before seven. The earliest I have ever risen is eight. The sun rose in a cloudless sky. The dough is rising now.
Both raise and rear are used in the United States to refer to the upbringing of children. Although raise was formerly condemned in this sense (“You raise hogs but you rear children”), it is now standard.
In American English, a person receives a raise in salary. In British English it is a rise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for raise

Contemporary Examples of raise

Historical Examples of raise

British Dictionary definitions for raise


verb (mainly tr)

to move, cause to move, or elevate to a higher position or level; lift
to set or place in an upright position
to construct, build, or erectto raise a barn
to increase in amount, size, value, etcto raise prices
to increase in degree, strength, intensity, etcto raise one's voice
to advance in rank or status; promote
to arouse or awaken from or as if from sleep or death
to stir up or incite; activateto raise a mutiny
raise Cain, raise the devil, raise hell or raise the roof
  1. to create a boisterous disturbance
  2. to react or protest heatedly
to give rise to; cause or provoketo raise a smile
to put forward for considerationto raise a question
to cause to assemble or gather together; collectto raise an army
to grow or cause to growto raise a crop
to bring up; rearto raise a family
to cause to be heard or known; utter or expressto raise a shout; to raise a protest
to bring to an end; removeto raise a siege; raise a ban
to cause (dough, bread, etc) to rise, as by the addition of yeast
poker to bet more than (the previous player)
bridge to bid (one's partner's suit) at a higher level
nautical to cause (something) to seem to rise above the horizon by approachingwe raised land after 20 days
to establish radio communications withwe managed to raise Moscow last night
to obtain (money, funds, capital, etc)
to bring (a surface, a design, etc) into relief; cause to project
to cause (a blister, welt, etc) to form on the skin, to expel (phlegm) by coughing
phonetics to modify the articulation of (a vowel) by bringing the tongue closer to the roof of the mouth
maths to multiply (a number) by itself a specified number of times8 is 2 raised to the power 3
  1. to institute (a suit or action at law)
  2. to draw up (a summons)
mainly US and Canadian to increase the amount payable on (a cheque, money order, etc) fraudulently
curling to push (a stone) towards the tee with another stone
raise an eyebrow
  1. Also: raise one's eyebrowsto look quizzical or surprised
  2. to give rise to doubt or disapproval
raise one's glass to to drink the health of; drink a toast to
raise one's hat old-fashioned to take one's hat briefly off one's head as a greeting or mark of respect


the act or an instance of raising
mainly US and Canadian an increase, esp in salary, wages, etc; rise
Derived Formsraisable or raiseable, adjectiveraiser, noun

Word Origin for raise

C12: from Old Norse reisa; related to Old English rǣran to rear ²
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 raise

c.1200, "cause a rising of; lift upright, set upright; build, construct," from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse reisa "to raise," from Proto-Germanic *raizjan (cf. Gothic ur-raisjan, Old English ræran "to rear;" see rear (v.)), causative of root *ris- "to rise" (see rise (v.)). At first sharing many senses with native rear (v.).

Meaning "make higher" is from c.1300 in the physical sense, as is that of "restore to life." Of the voice, from late 14c. Meaning "increase the amount of" is from c.1500; from 1530s of prices, etc. Meaning "to bring up" (a question, etc.) is from 1640s. Card-playing sense is from 1821. Meaning "promote the growth of" (plants, etc.) is from 1660s; sense of "foster, rear, bring up" (of children) is from 1744. Meaning "to elevate" (the consciousness) is from 1970. Related: Raised; raising.

Pickering (1816) has a long passage on the use of raise and grow in reference to crops. He writes that in the U.S. raise is used of persons, in the sense "brought up," but it is "never thus used in the Northern States. Bartlett [1848] adds that it "is applied in the Southern States to the breeding of negroes. It is sometimes heard at the North among the illiterate; as 'I was raised in Connecticut,' meaning brought up there."


"act of raising or lifting," 1530s, from raise (v.). Meaning "an increase in amount or value" is from 1728. Meaning "increase in salary or wages" is from 1898, chiefly American English (British preferring rise). Earliest attested use (c.1500) is in obsolete sense of "a levy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with raise


In addition to the idioms beginning with raise

  • raise a hand against
  • raise an objection
  • raise a stink
  • raise Cain
  • raise eyebrows
  • raise havoc
  • raise hell
  • raise one's hackles
  • raise one's sights
  • raise one's voice
  • raise the ante
  • raise the curtain
  • raise the devil
  • raise the roof

also see:

  • cause raised eyebrows
  • curtain raiser
  • make (raise) a stink
  • play (raise) havoc
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.