Etymology
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loft (n.)
"an upper chamber," c. 1300, an extended sense from late Old English loft "the sky; the sphere of the air," from Old Norse lopt (Scandinavian -pt- pronounced like -ft-) "air, sky," originally "upper story, loft, attic," from Proto-Germanic *luftuz "air, sky" (source also of Old English lyft, Dutch lucht, Old High German luft, German Luft, Gothic luftus "air").

If this is correct, the sense development would be from "loft, ceiling" to "sky, air." Buck suggests a further connection with Old High German louft "bark," louba "roof, attic," etc., with development from "bark" to "roof made of bark" to "ceiling," though this did not directly inform the meaning "air, sky" (compare lodge (n.)). But Watkins says this is "probably a separate Germanic root." Meaning "gallery in a church" first attested c. 1500. From 1520s as "apartment over a stable" used for hay storage, etc.
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loft (v.)
"to hit a ball high in the air," 1856, originally in golf, from loft (n.). Compare sky (v.) in the modern slang sense. An earlier sense was "to put a loft on" (a building), 1560s; also "to store (goods) in a loft" (1510s). Related: Lofted; lofting.
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hayloft (n.)
storing place for hay in a stable or barn, 1570s, from hay + loft (n.).
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lofty (adj.)
"exalted, of high rank," early 15c. (early 14c. as a surname); also "with a high purpose," from loft (n.) + -y (2). Literal sense of "high" is attested from 1580s. Related: Loftily; loftiness.
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Luftwaffe 
air arm of the German Wehrmacht in the World War II era, 1935, from German Luftwaffe, literally "air-weapon," from Luft (see loft (n.)) + Waffe (see weapon (n.)).
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aloft (adv.)
"on high, in the air," c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse a lopt "up above," literally "up in the air," from a "in, on" (see on) + lopt "sky, air, atmosphere; loft, upper room," from the general Germanic word for "air" (cognate with Gothic luftus, Old High German luft, Old English lyft "air;" see loft (n.)). Scandinavian -pt- pronounced like -ft-. The Old English equivalent was on þa lyft.
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lift (n.)
mid-14c., "a man's load, as much as a man can carry;" late 15c., "act or action of lifting," from lift (v.). Figurative use from 1620s. Meaning "act of helping" is 1630s; that of "cheering influence" is from 1861. Sense of "elevator, hoisting machine to raise or lower between floors of a building" is from 1851; that of "upward force of an aircraft" is from 1902. Meaning "help given to a pedestrian by taking him along his way in a vehicle" is from 1712. As a dance move, from 1921. Sense of "heel-lift in a boot or shoe" is from 1670s.

The word once had a twin, Middle English lift "the air, the atmosphere; the sky, the firmament," from Old English lyft "air" (see loft (n.)).
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lift (v.)
c. 1200, "elevate in rank or dignity, exalt;" c. 1300, "to raise from the ground or other surface, pick up; erect, set in place," also intransitive, "to rise in waves;" early 14c., "remove (someone or something) from its place," from Old Norse lypta "to raise" (Scandinavian -pt- pronounced like -ft-), from Proto-Germanic *luftijan (source also of Middle Low German lüchten, Dutch lichten, German lüften "to lift"), a Proto-Germanic verb from the general Germanic noun for "air, sky, upper regions, atmosphere" (see loft (n.)), giving the verb an etymological sense of "to move up into the air."

Intransitive sense of "to rise, to seem to rise" (of clouds, fogs, etc.) is from 1834. Figurative sense of "to encourage" (with up) is mid-15c. The meaning "steal, take up dishonestly" (as in shoplift) is 1520s. Surgical sense of "to raise" (a person's face) is from 1921. Middle English also had a verb liften (c. 1400). Related: Lifted; lifting.
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air (n.1)

c. 1300, "invisible gases that surround the earth," from Old French air "atmosphere, breeze, weather" (12c.), from Latin aer "air, lower atmosphere, sky," from Greek aēr (genitive aeros) "mist, haze, clouds," later "atmosphere" (perhaps related to aenai "to blow, breathe"), which is of unknown origin. It is possibly from a PIE *awer- and thus related to aeirein "to raise" and arteria "windpipe, artery" (see aorta) on notion of "lifting, suspended, that which rises," but this has phonetic difficulties.

In Homer mostly "thick air, mist;" later "air" as one of the four elements. Words for "air" in Indo-European languages tend to be associated with wind, brightness, sky. In English, air replaced native lyft, luft (see loft (n.)). In old chemistry, air (with a qualifying adjective) was used of any gas.

To be in the air "in general awareness" is from 1875; up in the air "uncertain, doubtful" is from 1752. To build castles in the air "entertain visionary schemes that have no practical foundation" is from 1590s (in 17c. English had airmonger "one preoccupied with visionary projects"). Broadcasting sense (as in on the air, airplay) first recorded 1927. To give (someone) the air "dismiss" is from 1900. Air pollution is attested by 1870. Air guitar is by 1983. Air traffic controller is from 1956.

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garner (n.)
"a granary," late 12c., gerner, from Old French gernier, metathesized variant of grenier "storehouse, loft for grain," from Latin granarium (usually plural, granaria) "store-house for grain," from granum "grain," from PIE root *gre-no- "grain."
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