American English

Definition of lift verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lift
    he / she / it lifts
    past simple lifted
    -ing form lifting
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to raise someone or something or be raised to a higher position or level lift somebody/something (up) (+ adv./prep.) He stood there with his arms lifted above his head. I lifted the lid of the box and peered in. (figurative) John lifted his eyes (= looked up) from his book. lift (up) Her eyebrows lifted. “Apologize? Why?”
  2. move someone or something
  3. 2[transitive] lift somebody/something (+ adv./prep.) to take hold of someone or something and move them/it to a different position I lifted the baby out of the crib. He lifted the suitcase down from the rack.
  4. 3[transitive] lift somebody/something (+ adv./prep.) to transport people or things by air The survivors were lifted to safety by helicopter. see also airlift
  5. remove law/rule
  6. 4[transitive] lift something to remove or end restrictions to lift a ban/curfew/blockade Martial law has now been lifted.
  7. heart/spirits
  8. 5[intransitive, transitive] to become or make someone more cheerful His heart lifted at the sight of her. lift something The news lifted our spirits.
  9. of mist/clouds
  10. 6[intransitive] to rise and disappear synonym disperse The fog began to lift. (figurative) Gradually my depression started to lift.
  11. steal
  12. 7[transitive] lift something (from somebody/something) (informal) to steal something He had been lifting electrical goods from the store where he worked. see also
  13. copy ideas/words
  14. 8[transitive] lift something (from something) to use someone's ideas or words without asking permission or without saying where they come from synonym plagiarize She lifted most of the ideas from a book she had been reading.
  15. increase
  16. 9[transitive, intransitive] lift (something) to make the amount or level of something greater; to become greater in amount or level Interest rates were lifted yesterday.
  17. Idioms
    not lift a finger (to do something) (informal)
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    to do nothing to help someone The kids never lift a finger to help around the house.
    Phrasal Verbslift off
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lift