9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[duhm-wey-ter] /ˈdʌmˌweɪ tər/
a small elevator, manually or electrically operated, consisting typically of a box with shelves, used in apartment houses, restaurants, and large private dwellings for moving dishes, food, garbage, etc., between floors.
  1. an auxiliary serving table.
  2. a serving stand with tiers of revolving shelves.
  3. a serving cart.
Origin of dumbwaiter
1745-55; dumb + waiter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dumbwaiter
  • Her favorite was a chimney with a false back, behind which a dumbwaiter could be raised or lowered with the yank of a lever.
  • She rides a motorcycle to work, decorates her loft with a moose head, and rides up and down a dumbwaiter to get to her apartment.
  • No sooner does he become absorbed in his writing than the dumbwaiter rings.
  • The inspector will ensure that each elevator or dumbwaiter is operating at the completion of the inspection for that elevator.
  • Temporarily dormant elevator, temporarily dormant dumbwaiter, or temporarily dormant escalator.
  • The back service stairs have been demolished in preparation for framing and installing the new dumbwaiter.
British Dictionary definitions for dumbwaiter


  1. a stand placed near a dining table to hold food
  2. a revolving circular tray placed on a table to hold food US and Canadian name lazy Susan
a lift for carrying food, rubbish, etc, between floors
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dumbwaiter

1749, an article of furniture, from dumb (adj.) + waiter (apparently because it serves as a waiter but is silent). As a movable platform for passing dishes, etc., up and down from one room (especially a basement kitchen) to another, from 1847.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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