Etymology
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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.

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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Definitions of lift
1
lift (v.)
raise from a lower to a higher position;
Synonyms: raise / elevate / get up / bring up
lift (v.)
take hold of something and move it to a different location;
lift the box onto the table
lift (v.)
move upwards;
lift one's eyes
Synonyms: raise
lift (v.)
move upward;
The fog lifted
Synonyms: rise / arise / move up / go up / come up / uprise
lift (v.)
make audible;
He lifted a war whoop
lift (v.)
cancel officially;
lift an embargo
lift (v.)
make off with belongings of others;
Synonyms: pilfer / cabbage / purloin / pinch / abstract / snarf / swipe / hook / sneak / filch / nobble
lift (v.)
raise or haul up with or as if with mechanical help;
Synonyms: hoist / wind
lift (v.)
invigorate or heighten;
lift my spirits
lift his ego
Synonyms: raise
lift (v.)
raise in rank or condition;
The new law lifted many people from poverty
Synonyms: raise / elevate
lift (v.)
take off or away by decreasing;
lift the pressure
lift (v.)
rise up;
Synonyms: rise / rear
lift (v.)
pay off (a mortgage);
lift (v.)
take without referencing from someone else's writing or speech; of intellectual property;
Synonyms: plagiarize / plagiarise
lift (v.)
take illegally;
Synonyms: rustle
lift (v.)
fly people or goods to or from places not accessible by other means;
Synonyms: airlift
lift (v.)
take (root crops) out of the ground;
lift potatoes
lift (v.)
call to stop the hunt or to retire, as of hunting dogs;
lift (v.)
rise upward, as from pressure or moisture;
The floor is lifting slowly
lift (v.)
put an end to;
lift a ban
Synonyms: raise
lift (v.)
remove (hair) by scalping;
lift (v.)
remove from a seedbed or from a nursery;
lift the tulip bulbs
lift (v.)
remove from a surface;
the detective carefully lifted some fingerprints from the table
lift (v.)
perform cosmetic surgery on someone's face;
Synonyms: face-lift
2
lift (n.)
the act of giving temporary assistance;
lift (n.)
the component of the aerodynamic forces acting on an airfoil that opposes gravity;
Synonyms: aerodynamic lift
lift (n.)
the event of something being raised upward;
Synonyms: elevation / raising
lift (n.)
a wave that lifts the surface of the water or ground;
Synonyms: rise
lift (n.)
a powered conveyance that carries skiers up a hill;
Synonyms: ski tow / ski lift
lift (n.)
a device worn in a shoe or boot to make the wearer look taller or to correct a shortened leg;
lift (n.)
one of the layers forming the heel of a shoe or boot;
lift (n.)
lifting device consisting of a platform or cage that is raised and lowered mechanically in a vertical shaft in order to move people from one floor to another in a building;
Synonyms: elevator
lift (n.)
plastic surgery to remove wrinkles and other signs of aging from your face; an incision is made near the hair line and skin is pulled back and excess tissue is excised;
some actresses have more than one face lift
Synonyms: face lift / facelift / face lifting / cosmetic surgery / rhytidectomy / rhytidoplasty / nip and tuck
lift (n.)
transportation of people or goods by air (especially when other means of access are unavailable);
Synonyms: airlift
lift (n.)
a ride in a car;
he gave me a lift home
lift (n.)
the act of raising something;
he responded with a lift of his eyebrow
Synonyms: raise / heave
From wordnet.princeton.edu