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ˈhȯist How to pronounce hoist (audio)
chiefly dialectal
ˈhīst How to pronounce hoist (audio)
hoisted; hoisting; hoists

transitive verb

: lift, raise
especially : to raise into position by or as if by means of tackle
hoist a flag
hoist the sails
Cargo was hoisted up into the ship.
: drink sense 1
hoist a few beers

intransitive verb

: to become hoisted : rise
let it hoist to the upper deck
hoister noun


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: an act of raising or lifting : an act of hoisting (see hoist entry 1)
gave him a hoist over the wall
: an apparatus (such as a tackle or a hydraulic lift) for lifting or raising : an apparatus for hoisting (see hoist entry 1)
: the height of a flag when viewed flying
a flag with a 20-foot hoist
Choose the Right Synonym for hoist

lift, raise, rear, elevate, hoist, heave, boost mean to move from a lower to a higher place or position.

lift usually implies exerting effort to overcome resistance of weight.

lift the chair while I vacuum

raise carries a stronger implication of bringing up to the vertical or to a high position.

scouts raising a flagpole

rear may add an element of suddenness to raise.

suddenly reared itself up on its hind legs

elevate may replace lift or raise especially when exalting or enhancing is implied.

elevated the taste of the public

hoist implies lifting something heavy especially by mechanical means.

hoisted the cargo on board

heave implies lifting and throwing with great effort or strain.

heaved the heavy crate inside

boost suggests assisting to climb or advance by a push.

boosted his brother over the fence

Examples of hoist in a Sentence

Verb The steel girders were hoisted into place and securely welded. The engine was hoisted out with a winch. The cargo was hoisted up onto the ship. He stopped at a bar after work to hoist a few beers with his friends. She hoisted a last-second shot that would have won the game if it had gone in.
Recent Examples on the Web
Sixty-two years later, this will be the 100th launch of the Atlas V, which is used to hoist satellites as well as spacecraft. Marcia Dunn, Fortune, 5 May 2024 The 21-day endurance cycling event features nearly 180 riders competing to hoist the Trofeo Senza Fine (Endless Trophy) at the finish line. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for hoist 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hoist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

alteration of hoise

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hoist was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near hoist

Cite this Entry

“Hoist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoist. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to raise or become raised into position especially by mechanical means
hoister noun


2 of 2 noun
: an act of hoisting : lift
: a machine for hoisting heavy loads

More from Merriam-Webster on hoist

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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