Definition of hoist in English:



  • 1Raise (something) by means of ropes and pulleys.

    ‘high overhead great cranes hoisted girders’
    • ‘The disused temporary school building has already been brought from Bridlington to York, and leaders are preparing to bring in engineers and a crane to hoist the four-part structure into place.’
    • ‘When conditions finally permitted, it was all hands on deck as we formed teams heaving on a forest of ropes to hoist the huge sails.’
    • ‘He ordered him and another sailor to hoist the American flag.’
    • ‘The one crane I saw in the streets of Baghdad was hoisting an advertising billboard.’
    • ‘The vet said the best way to help him is to use an industrial winch - like the ones used to hoist engines from cars - to stand the eight-stone pig upright.’
    • ‘The giant bagel weighed 394 kilograms, measured 1.8 metres in diameter and required a small crane to hoist it out of its custom-built oven.’
    • ‘Final victory came for Russia when Soviet soldiers hoisted the red flag over the Berlin Reichstag in April 1945.’
    • ‘A spare breathing apparatus was hoisted to the roof and the girls took turns using it until they could be carried out through a window.’
    • ‘In the United States, it is stipulated by law that public institutions such as schools will hoist the national flag.’
    • ‘The highest cabins will require an extension to the present crane to hoist them to Deck 12.’
    • ‘To register their protest, students hoisted black flags in the University premises.’
    • ‘Motorists face delays this weekend as two giant cranes hoist a new bridge onto the M60.’
    • ‘Weighing two-and-a-half tonnes, it was hoisted over the house by crane and then the builder put the roof on.’
    • ‘The stadium rose as a marching band triumphantly played the anthem and guards hoisted the national flag.’
    • ‘The band played the hymns at the 10 o'clock Mass at the church and the flags were hoisted afterwards.’
    • ‘Just four weeks before the start of the festival 25 volunteers hoisted the arch into place using ropes.’
    • ‘With no side access to the property, a crane was used to hoist sections of the framework over the shell and into the patio, which was used as a staging area for the assembly and installation.’
    • ‘Jeffers apprenticed himself to the home's contractors, then built Hawk Tower by hand, using ropes to hoist boulders from the cove below.’
    • ‘He managed to grab the sheep and secure it with a rope around its horns allowing inspector Hall to hoist the animal over the bank to safety.’
    • ‘In New York City, cranes are prohibited from hoisting materials or equipment over city streets.’
    raise, raise up, lift, lift up, haul up, heave up, jack up, hike up, winch up, pull up, upraise, uplift, elevate, erect
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    1. 1.1 Raise or haul up.
      ‘she hoisted her backpack onto her shoulder’
      • ‘The company beat out rhythms with their canes, hoisting them overhead and twirling them in unison, their footwork crisp in Morse code mode.’
      • ‘She cleared the weight to her shoulders but could not hoist it overhead.’
      • ‘She grabbed onto the girl's arms, and hoisted her up behind her.’
      • ‘He released my arm, hoisted himself onto the horse, and pulled me up after him.’
      • ‘Clutching onto the arm of the sofa, I hoisted myself up and ran down the hall to the bathroom.’
      • ‘At the shrine he was hoisted onto a kneeler, where he prayed before the ivy-covered grotto.’
      • ‘Jake hoists himself up onto the hood of the car, stretching his long legs out in front of him.’
      • ‘She looked so sweet like that, hoisting herself up onto the bed, and then sitting with her legs sticking straight out in front of her.’
      • ‘To get started, you'll hoist your pack and hike toward the Root Glacier.’
      • ‘When they finally boarded the airplane, Della tried to hoist her small suitcase into the overhead compartment, but she could hardly lift it.’
      • ‘‘Yeah, I've got it,’ I answered, hoisting myself up and over the edge and back onto solid ground.’
      • ‘A group of paramedics hoisted me up onto a stretcher and then into an ambulance.’
      • ‘The smaller of the two, Joe, was hoisted onto his father's shoulders by his mother.’
      • ‘It was about four feet high, the perfect height for small people to hoist themselves onto.’
      • ‘He nodded, hoisting himself onto the bunk and motioning for me to toss him the extra pillow.’
      • ‘He hoisted her up onto the front of the horse in front of himself, holding her securely as he rode out of the river.’
      • ‘I placed my foot onto one of the knotholes on the trunk and hoisted myself up.’
      • ‘Ian hoisted himself onto the countertop and looked around in amazement at the high ceilings.’
      • ‘He pulled himself up next to her, hoisting her onto his lap.’
      • ‘And, as any traveler knows, it's also a good movement to do to avoid straining your back or shoulders when hoisting a heavy bag into a small overhead compartment.’
      haul, pull, lug, manhandle, drag, draw, tug
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  • 1An act of raising or lifting something.

    • ‘Just as you get your side beautifully fixed, he gives it a hoist from his end, and spoils it all.’
    • ‘Instead, Dick persuaded Fritz to sail to the next platform and ask the crane driver to give them a hoist into the water.’
    push, heave, thrust, shove, uplift, a helping hand
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    1. 1.1 An apparatus for lifting or raising something.
      • ‘And the really great news is that the hoist for launching boats into the harbour will still be in operation.’
      • ‘She pulled the plug and raised the hoist to remove Miss Hourie from the water.’
      • ‘I have four visits a day, two carers at a time, as the only way they can move me is by using a hoist.’
      • ‘The lounge is like a hospital ward with a hospital bed and a hoist and a settee.’
      • ‘The president complimented Danny for his political awareness when he requested a hoist for the swimming pool in Athy so he can use the facility.’
      • ‘There was one woman, also in a wheelchair, who instead of getting out at the bottom of the stairs and walking up, insisted on a mechanical hoist to lift her, chair and all, up to the plane's door.’
      • ‘Mr Cooper said training had been given at the time the new equipment was introduced but supervisors had not insisted on the use of the hoists and some employees were unaware their use was mandatory.’
      • ‘The pool, equipped with hoists, will allow children to receive water therapy.’
      • ‘‘He was incapacitated in his chair in his room at the nursing home, at the end they had to move him around with a hoist,’ he said.’
      • ‘Now the council has stepped in to try and make some of them safe by using a hoist to lift the stones and bedding them in concrete two feet deep.’
      • ‘And we have a very helpless feeling, because we didn't have any hoists or rescue equipment on board the helicopter.’
      • ‘Disability rules demand the provision of ramps and a hoist where possible.’
      • ‘Some improvements including the installation of alarms, hoists and showers had been made but there were continuing problems which were likely to be reflected in hospitals across the country.’
      • ‘The new ramp, together with a hoist, will make it easier for disabled people to get in and out of the saddle, while the raised area for spectators will be able to hold about 60 people.’
      • ‘We also hope to build an overhead railway system which will transport people with severe handicaps on hoists from the car park to the changing rooms to the pool.’
      • ‘I tried to counteract the swinging motion by stopping the hoist.’
      • ‘His aim was to raise £2,000 to buy a wheelchair hoist for a founder member of the charity, which raises funds for local people with disabilities.’
      • ‘The very idea that we could look after her sooner without the benefit of hoists and medical equipment to get her moving, is absolutely stupid.’
      • ‘This enables the aircrew and the personnel on the ground to see the hoist as it is lowered to help maintain situational awareness.’
      • ‘I then felt a series of bumps, which I later learned was just the rescue hoist jerking.’
      lifting gear, crane, winch, tackle, block and tackle, pulley, windlass, davit, derrick
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    2. 1.2 An act of increasing something.
      ‘the government's interest rate hoist’
      • ‘The biggest hoist of all, though, was the one his own career enjoyed.’
      • ‘But the reason I endured my spell in that job was in order to get my first hoist up the career ladder.’
  • 2The part of a flag nearest the staff; the vertical dimension of a flag.

    • ‘The Union Flag occupies the upper, hoist quarter of an otherwise red flag and the Arms are within the red field.’
    • ‘As though to help answer his query a breeze took the flag and Armand was surprised to see it was the Canadian coat-of-arms with union jack at the hoist, the flag of that country at the time.’
    • ‘Visibility was always the main drawback to this medium, accentuated when steam propulsion permitted ships to ignore wind direction so that flag hoists might be end-on to those supposed to read them.’
  • 3A group of flags raised as a signal.

    • ‘In addition, flag hoists and flashing light signals were sent to try and get the ship to halt.’
    • ‘On Stuart's flag deck a member of the ship's company prepares a hoist.’


  • hoist one's flag

    • (of an admiral) take up command.

      • ‘Before their plans could come to fruition, though, they had a serious falling out, and on 2nd September 1966 he and his family took control of the tower on their own and hoisted their flag.’
      • ‘In 1814 he briefly hoisted his flag at sea, commanding the naval escort for Louis XVIII's return to France from his English exile.’
  • hoist the flag

    • Stake one's claim to discovered territory by displaying a flag.

      • ‘Iwo gave us the uplifting vision of the Marines hoisting the flag on enemy soil.’


Late 15th century: alteration of dialect hoise, probably from Dutch hijsen or Low German hiesen, but recorded earlier.