1640s, originally of muscles which raise a part of the body, from Latin elevator "one who raises up," 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 for bland, low-volume background music meant to relax listeners is attested by 1963. Elevator as a lift for shoes is from 1940.
early 15c. "transporting of goods and passengers by water," variant of fraght, which is from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German vracht, vrecht (see fraught). Danish fragt, Swedish frakt apparently also are from Dutch or Frisian. Also from Low German are Portuguese frete, Spanish flete, and French fret, which might have changed the vowel in this variant of the English word. Meaning "cargo of a ship" is from c. 1500. Freight-train is from 1841.
also c.i.f., abbreviation of cost, insurance, freight, a trade term.
"an empty thing" that was or is expected to be full, 1865, from empty (adj.). At first of barges, freight cars, mail pouches.
1620s, "one who loads (a ship)," agent noun from freight (v.). Meaning "a cargo vessel" is from 1839, American English.