An elevator is a machine that carries passengers to higher and lower floors in a tall building. Even though you usually take the stairs to your apartment, when you're exhausted you might decide to take the elevator instead.

Most elevators run on electricity, although in the 19th century the first elevators used steam power to move heavy goods in coal mines. Today, elevators are legally required in tall buildings, so that people who aren't able to climb stairs have access to all floors. In the 1640's, elevator meant "muscles used to raise the body," from the Latin elevator, "one who raises up."

Definitions of elevator

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

dumbwaiter, food elevator
a small elevator used to convey food (or other goods) from one floor of a building to another
freight elevator, service elevator
an elevator designed for carrying freight
a type of lift having a chain of open compartments that move continually in an endless loop so that (agile) passengers can step on or off at each floor
Type of:
lifting device
a device for lifting heavy loads

n the airfoil on the tailplane of an aircraft that makes it ascend or descend

Type of:
aerofoil, airfoil, control surface, surface
a device that provides reactive force when in motion relative to the surrounding air; can lift or control a plane in flight

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