1540s, "to raise, lift, elevate," especially with a rope or tackle, earlier hoise (c. 1500), from Middle English hysse (late 15c.), which probably is from Middle Dutch hyssen (Dutch hijsen) "to hoist," related to Low German hissen and Old Norse hissa upp "raise," Danish heise, Swedish hissa. A nautical word found in most European languages (French hisser, Italian issare, Spanish izar), but it is uncertain which coined it. 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, "act of hoisting;" 1835, "that by which something is hoisted," from the verb.
updated on September 29, 2018