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 for elevators
Only one of the historic elevators remains, converted to an art gallery.
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