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.
an auxiliary serving table.
a serving stand with tiers of revolving shelves.
a serving cart.

1745–55; dumb + waiter

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World English Dictionary
dumbwaiter (ˈdʌmˌweɪtə)
1.  (Brit)
 a.  a stand placed near a dining table to hold food
 b.  US and Canadian name: lazy Susan a revolving circular tray placed on a table to hold food
2.  a lift for carrying food, rubbish, etc, between floors

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1749, an article of furniture, from dumb + 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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Example sentences
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.
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