dumb·​wait·​er | \ ˈdəm-ˌwā-tər How to pronounce dumbwaiter (audio) , ˌdəm-ˈwā-\

Definition of dumbwaiter

1 : a portable serving table or stand
2 : a small elevator used for conveying food and dishes from one story of a building to another

Examples of dumbwaiter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Food is sent to the dining room via a series of dumbwaiters. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco French dining hub One65 brings $250 tasting menus to Union Square," 6 June 2019 The 29,370-square-foot home has two other kitchens, including a catering kitchen with a dumbwaiter that leads to a butler’s pantry near the dining area. Stacey Altherr, WSJ, "Inside the Kitchens of America’s Most-Expensive Homes," 19 Nov. 2018 For more than four years the couple had worked to transform the unit through gut renovations into a vertical mansion, with amenities and finishes resembling that of a five-star hotel (hot tub and dumbwaiters included). Vivian Marino, New York Times, "A SoHo Triplex on the Market for $65 Million," 14 June 2018 The large island kitchen includes a seven-burner induction cooktop, double convection ovens, two Sub-Zero refrigerators, two dishwashers, a dumbwaiter and glass- front cabinets — designed by architect Jorge Munoz of Munoz and Albin. Lisa Zapalac, Houston Chronicle, "Prime Property: Historic Broadacres home designed by architect Birdsall Briscoe," 13 May 2018 Each of the three floors has a private elevator landing with a connecting dumbwaiter, allowing the Matlin family and their guests to easily transport food, towels and other items between floors. Vivian Marino, New York Times, "A SoHo Triplex on the Market for $65 Million," 14 June 2018 At Lechner’s Gourmet Restaurant, where the kitchen was on the third floor and orders were sent down on dumbwaiters. Devra First, BostonGlobe.com, "Strip-T’s in Watertown is closing, and with it goes a little piece of the restaurant scene’s soul," 14 May 2018 My favorite is the mansion’s kitchen, with its gleaming modern steel cabinets and appliances, delicate porcelain cups and the dumbwaiter used to transport it all to Mrs. Post’s dinner parties. The New York Times, New York Times, "The Museums Times Reporters Like to Visit on Their Days Off," 13 Mar. 2018 Chili dogs and liverwurst sandwiches magically appear from a small door that conceals New York’s oldest dumbwaiter, a once-common element of restaurant design that needs to needs to come back on trend post-haste. Daniel Arnold, Bon Appetit, "This Bar Has the Oldest, Grandest Urinals In New York City," 10 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dumbwaiter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dumbwaiter

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dumbwaiter

Statistics for dumbwaiter

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dumbwaiter

The first known use of dumbwaiter was in 1737

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dumbwaiter



English Language Learners Definition of dumbwaiter

: a small elevator for carrying food or goods from one floor of a building to another

More from Merriam-Webster on dumbwaiter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dumbwaiter

Comments on dumbwaiter

What made you want to look up dumbwaiter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!