hoist

Definitions

General English

Construction

  • Any mechanical device for lifting loads.
  • An elevator.
  • The apparatus providing the power drive to a drum, around which cable or rope is wound in lifting or pulling a load. Also called a winch. See also chain hoist.

Media Studies

  • noun a crane used to raise a camera for a high-angle shot

Medical

  • noun a device with pulleys and wires for raising a bed or a patient

Real Estate

  • noun a mechanical device or apparatus designed for lifting heavy objects

Slang

  • verb to steal, particularly by shoplifting or picking a pocket. The term is around 200 years old in underworld jargon, and was still in use in 2004.
  • verb to raise and down a drink, usually beer. A masculine term with overtones of heroic or hearty drinking sessions. (The word may occasionally refer to eating, as in ‘hoist some oysters’.).

Theater

  • see slote.

Origin & History of “hoist”

The history of hoist cannot be traced back very far. It is an alteration of a now defunct hoise (probably due to the mistaking of the past form hoised for a present form), which itself was an alteration of an earlier heise. this probably came from, or at least was related to, Dutch hijsen or Low German hissen ‘raise’. Heist ‘robbery, hold-up’ (20th c.), which originated in the USA, is a variant of hoist, and perhaps represents a survival of heise.
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