el·​e·​va·​tor | \ ˈe-lə-ˌvā-tər How to pronounce elevator (audio) \

Definition of elevator

1 : one that raises or lifts something up: such as
a : an endless belt or chain conveyor with cleats, scoops, or buckets for raising material
b : a cage or platform and its hoisting machinery for conveying people or things to different levels
2 : a movable airfoil usually attached to the tailplane of an airplane for controlling pitch — see airplane illustration

Examples of elevator in a Sentence

We took the elevator to the 10th floor.
Recent Examples on the Web But the remaining cement core with the elevator shaft remained intact and sank about 30 to 40 feet into the basement. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, "In a year of negative news, ‘Leaning Tower of Dallas’ tilted toward the positive," 30 Dec. 2020 The officers strapped him to a restraint chair and continued hitting him in an elevator, the lawsuit says. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County faces 27 lawsuits over jail misconduct in the wake of string of inmate deaths, have paid $1.35 million so far," 22 Dec. 2020 The two have an epic showdown straight out of Mission Impossible in the elevator of Cassie's hotel. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Flight Attendant’s Shocking Finale: All Your Questions Answered," 17 Dec. 2020 The woman, 39, was found around 4:10 p.m. at the bottom of the elevator shaft inside the Food Emporium on West 43rd Street near 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, officials and sources said. Fox News, "Woman falls down elevator shaft to her death at Manhattan supermarket," 16 Dec. 2020 The first crews arrived within five or six minutes and saw smoke coming out of an elevator shaft, indicating there was a fire on one of the upper floors, Velez said. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "2 firefighters suffer heat exhaustion after battling Jewelers Row blaze in the Loop, scene of 2 previous fires," 12 Nov. 2020 In the commotion, Negan and Lydia make their own plans; Negan hands Lydia his Whisperer mask and slips off down the elevator shaft. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Walking Dead recap: Maggie arrives… and so does [SPOILER]," 5 Oct. 2020 Scientific experts say that a short trip in an elevator is low-risk, if everyone is wearing a mask. Elizabeth Chang, Anchorage Daily News, "COVID-19 etiquette: A comprehensive guide," 14 Sep. 2020 It is created by the few inches of space between a home elevator’s two doors, just enough to trap a child. Washington Post, "After years of devastating home elevator accidents, first safety recall announced," 17 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of elevator

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for elevator

Time Traveler

The first known use of elevator was in 1646

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Statistics for elevator

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elevator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elevator. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce elevator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of elevator

: a machine used for carrying people and things to different levels in a building
: a tall building for storing grain


el·​e·​va·​tor | \ ˈe-lə-ˌvā-tər How to pronounce elevator (audio) \

Kids Definition of elevator

1 : a floor or little room that can be raised or lowered for carrying people or goods from one level to another
2 : a device (as an endless belt) for raising material


el·​e·​va·​tor | \ ˈel-ə-ˌvāt-ər How to pronounce elevator (audio) \

Medical Definition of elevator

1 : a dental instrument for removing teeth or the roots of teeth which cannot be gripped with a forceps
2 : a surgical instrument for raising a depressed part (as a bone) or for separating contiguous parts

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More from Merriam-Webster on elevator

Nglish: Translation of elevator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elevator for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elevator

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