a person or thing that elevates or raises.
a moving platform or cage for carrying passengers or freight from one level to another, as in a building.
any of various mechanical devices for raising objects or materials.
a building in which grain is stored and handled by means of mechanical elevator and conveyor devices.
Aeronautics. a hinged horizontal surface on an airplane or the like, used to control the longitudinal inclination and usually placed at the tail end of the fuselage.

1640–50; < Late Latin ēlevātor, equivalent to ēlevā(re) (see elevate) + -tor -tor

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
elevator (ˈɛlɪˌveɪtə)
1.  a person or thing that elevates
2.  chiefly (US) a mechanical hoist for raising something, esp grain or coal, often consisting of a chain of scoops linked together on a conveyor belt
3.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): lift a platform, compartment, or cage raised or lowered in a vertical shaft to transport persons or goods in a building
4.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) a large granary equipped with an elevator and, usually, facilities for cleaning and grading the grain
5.  any muscle that raises a part of the body
6.  a surgical instrument for lifting a part of the body
7.  a control surface on the tailplane of an aircraft, for making it climb or descend

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

1640s, originally of muscles, from L. elevator, from elevare (see elevate). As a name for a mechanical lift (originally for grain) attested from 1787. Elevator music is from 1970s. Elevator shoes patented 1940.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

elevator el·e·va·tor (ěl'ə-vā'tər)

  1. A surgical instrument used to elevate tissues or to raise a sunken part, such as a depressed fragment of bone.

  2. A dental instrument used to remove teeth or parts of teeth that cannot be gripped with a forceps or to loosen teeth and roots before using forceps.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
When the elevator arrives, it whisks you and the group directly to your floors.
We're all quiet and shy in an elevator with other people.
Elevator installation is a mature business, yet change is under way as office
  space and energy get pricey.
Being stuck in an elevator is never fun, but by and large when riding in one
  that's the biggest inconvenience you can expect.
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