v. & n.
v. 1 tr. (often foll. by up, off, out, etc.) raise or remove to a higher position. 2 intr. go up; be raised; yield to an upward force (the window will not lift). 3 tr. give an upward direction to (the eyes or face). 4 tr. a elevate to a higher plane of thought or feeling (the news lifted their spirits). b make less heavy or dull; add interest to (something esp. artistic). c enhance, improve (lifted their game after half-time). 5 intr. (of a cloud, fog, etc.) rise, disperse. 6 tr. remove (a barrier or restriction). 7 tr. transport supplies, troops, etc. by air. 8 tr. colloq. a steal. b plagiarize (a passage of writing etc.). 9 Phonet. a tr. make louder; raise the pitch of. b intr. (of the voice) rise. 10 tr. dig up (esp. potatoes etc. at harvest). 11 intr. (of a floor) swell upwards, bulge. 12 tr. hold or have on high (the church lifts its spire). 13 tr. hit (a cricket-ball) into the air. 14 tr. (usu. in passive) perform cosmetic surgery on (esp. the face or breasts) to reduce sagging.
n. 1 the act of lifting or process of being lifted. 2 a free ride in another person's vehicle (gave them a lift). 3 a Brit. a platform or compartment housed in a shaft for raising and lowering persons or things to different floors of a building or different levels of a mine etc. b a similar apparatus for carrying persons up or down a mountain etc. (see ski-lift). 4 a transport by air (see AIRLIFT n.). b a quantity of goods transported by air. 5 the upward pressure which air exerts on an aerofoil to counteract the force of gravity. 6 a supporting or elevating influence; a feeling of elation. 7 a layer of leather in the heel of a boot or shoe, esp. to correct shortening of a leg or increase height. 8 a a rise in the level of the ground. b the extent to which water rises in a canal lock. lift down pick up and bring to a lower position. lift a finger (or hand etc.) (in neg.) make the slightest effort (didn't lift a finger to help). lift off (of a spacecraft or rocket) rise from the launching pad. lift-off n. the vertical take-off of a spacecraft or rocket. lift up one's head hold one's head high with pride. lift up one's voice sing out. liftable adj. lifter n.
[ ME f. ON lypta f. Gmc ]