hoist [hoist or, sometimes, hahyst] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for hoist on Thesaurus.com verb (used with object)

  1. to raise or lift, especially by some mechanical appliance: to hoist a flag; to hoist the mainsail.
  2. to raise to one’s lips and drink; drink (especially beer or whiskey) with gusto: Let’s go hoist a few beers.
  3. Archaic. a simple past tense and past participle of hoise.


  1. an apparatus for hoisting, as a block and tackle, a derrick, or a crane.
  2. act of hoisting; a lift: Give that sofa a hoist at your end.
  3. Nautical.
    1. the vertical dimension amidships of any square sail that is hoisted with a yard.Compare drop(def 28).
    2. the distance between the hoisted and the lowered position of such a yard.
    3. the dimension of a fore-and-aft sail along the luff.
    4. a number of flags raised together as a signal.
  4. (on a flag)
    1. the vertical dimension as flown from a vertical staff.
    2. the edge running next to the staff.Compare fly1(def 30b).


  1. hoist by/with one’s own petard. petard(def 4).

Origin of hoist 1540–50; later variant of hoise, with -t as in against, etc.Related formshoist·er, nounun·hoist·ed, adjectiveSynonyms for hoist See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com 1. elevate. See raise.Antonyms for hoist 1. lower. hoise [hoiz] verb (used with object), hoised or hoist, hois·ing. Archaic.

  1. to hoist.

Origin of hoise 1500–10; compare earlier hissa a cry used in hauling, and huzzah Related Words for hoist heave, erect, raise, uphold, upraise, elevate, uplift, rear, uprear Examples from the Web for hoist Contemporary Examples of hoist

  • Hoist that big historical asterisk skyward and place it next to his name.

    The GOP’s Audacious Impeachment Spin Job

    Michael Tomasky

    July 30, 2014

  • Carter scurried back to Mace and reached down to hoist him up.

    Ty Carter Awarded Medal of Honor

    David Eisler, Jake Tapper

    August 31, 2013

  • But a significant number of your fellow citizens have a very different vision as they hoist the flag.

    We’re Not a Christian Nation

    Fred Rich

    July 3, 2013

  • But the regime’s canons push them back before they can hoist their flag over the liberated barracks.

    Syria: Would a No-Fly Zone Help the Rebels Oust Assad?

    Barak Barfi

    September 11, 2012

  • Republicans beyond Romney were also quick to hoist the “repeal” banner—calling a vote in the House on July 9.

    Mitt Romney’s Empty Obamacare-Repeal Rhetoric

    John Avlon

    June 29, 2012

  • Historical Examples of hoist

  • How could we hoist ourselves to such a height with Marie’s conveyance?

    The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete

    Emile Zola

  • Why do they continue to fire, General, when I have given orders to hoist the white flag?

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • It seemed to be ingenious, and proper to hoist great burdens.

    The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun;


  • She saw Garnache raise his foot to the stirrup and hoist himself to the saddle.

    St. Martin’s Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • If you should want me for anything, hoist some kind of flag on the mainmast.

    An Outcast of the Islands

    Joseph Conrad

  • British Dictionary definitions for hoist hoist verb

    1. (tr) to raise or lift up, esp by mechanical means
    2. hoist with one’s own petard See petard (def. 2)


    1. any apparatus or device for hoisting
    2. the act of hoisting
    3. See rotary clothesline
    4. nautical
      1. the amidships height of a sail bent to the yard with which it is hoistedCompare drop (def. 15)
      2. the difference between the set and lowered positions of this yard
    5. nautical the length of the luff of a fore-and-aft sail
    6. nautical a group of signal flags
    7. the inner edge of a flag next to the staffCompare fly 1 (def. 25)

    Derived Formshoister, nounWord Origin for hoist C16: variant of hoise, probably from Low German; compare Dutch hijschen, German hissen Word Origin and History for hoist v.

    1540s, “to raise,” earlier hoise (c.1500), probably originally past tense of Middle English hysse (late 15c.), which is probably from Middle Dutch hyssen (Dutch hijsen) “to hoist,” related to Low German hissen and Old Norse hissa upp “raise.” A nautical word found in most European languages (e.g. French hisser, Italian issare, Spanish izar), but it is uncertain which had it first. Related: Hoisted; hoisting. In phrase hoist with one’s own petard, it is the past participle.

    For ’tis the sport, to have the engineer
    Hoist with his own petar: and it shall go hard
    But I will delve one yard below their mines,
    And blow them at the moon: O ’tis most sweet,
    When in one line two crafts directly meet.
    [“Hamlet,” Act III, Scene iv]

    Meaning “to lift and remove” was prevalent c.1550-1750. As a noun, 1650s, from the verb.

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