[hoist or, sometimes, hahyst]
verb (used with object)
to raise or lift, especially by some mechanical appliance: to hoist a flag; to hoist the mainsail.
to raise to one's lips and drink; drink (especially beer or whiskey) with gusto: Let's go hoist a few beers.
Archaic. a simple past tense and past participle of hoise.
an apparatus for hoisting, as a block and tackle, a derrick, or a crane.
act of hoisting; a lift: Give that sofa a hoist at your end.
the vertical dimension amidships of any square sail that is hoisted with a yard. Compare drop ( def 28 ).
the distance between the hoisted and the lowered position of such a yard.
the dimension of a fore-and-aft sail along the luff.
a number of flags raised together as a signal.
the vertical dimension as flown from a vertical staff.
the edge running next to the staff. Compare fly ( def 36b ).
hoist by/with one's own petard. petard ( def 4 ).

1540–50; later variant of hoise, with -t as in against, etc.

hoister, noun
unhoisted, adjective

1. elevate. See raise.

1. lower.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), hoised or hoist, hoising. Archaic.
to hoist.

1500–10; compare earlier hissa a cry used in hauling, and huzza

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hoist (hɔɪst)
1.  (tr) to raise or lift up, esp by mechanical means
2.  hoist with one's own petard See petard
3.  any apparatus or device for hoisting
4.  the act of hoisting
5.  See rotary clothesline
6.  nautical
 a.  Compare drop the amidships height of a sail bent to the yard with which it is hoisted
 b.  the difference between the set and lowered positions of this yard
7.  nautical the length of the luff of a fore-and-aft sail
8.  nautical a group of signal flags
9.  Compare fly the inner edge of a flag next to the staff
[C16: variant of hoise, probably from Low German; compare Dutch hijschen, German hissen]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1540s, probably originally past tense of M.E. hysse (late 15c.), which is probably from M.Du. hyssen "to hoist," related to Low Ger. hissen and O.N. hissa upp "raise." A nautical word found in most European languages, but it is uncertain which had it first. In phrase hoist with one's own petard (see
petard) it is originally the past participle.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


mechanical device used primarily for raising and lowering heavy loads but occasionally for moving objects horizontally. It usually consists of a block and tackle-a combination of one or more fixed pulleys, a moving pulley with a hook or other similar means of attaching loads, and a rope (or cable) between them. Motive power for a hoist may be either manual or supplied by an electric motor. Electrically powered hoists, commonly mounted to the floor or wall, are used for varied lifting and hauling operations in factories and warehouses. See also block and tackle.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The stretchers operate on battery power and lift patients, so paramedics do not
  have to hoist patients into ambulances.
Hill will be lucky if he does not find, before this special session is ended,
  that he has been hoist with his own petard.
When you hoist two items of equal weight, your brain may be doing some heavy
They'll hoist their weapons around cover and fire aimlessly to keep you
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