Definition of hoist in English:

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Pronunciation: /hɔɪst/


[with object]
1Raise (something) by means of ropes and pulleys: a white flag was hoisted
More example sentences
  • When conditions finally permitted, it was all hands on deck as we formed teams heaving on a forest of ropes to hoist the huge sails.
  • Jeffers apprenticed himself to the home's contractors, then built Hawk Tower by hand, using ropes to hoist boulders from the cove below.
  • The disused temporary school building has already been brought from Bridlington to York, and leaders are preparing to bring in engineers and a crane to hoist the four-part structure into place.
raise, raise up, lift, lift up, haul up, heave up, jack up, hike up, winch up, pull up, upraise, uplift, elevate, erect
rare upheave
1.1 [with object and adverbial] Raise or haul up: she hoisted her backpack on to her shoulder
More example sentences
  • At the shrine he was hoisted onto a kneeler, where he prayed before the ivy-covered grotto.
  • It was about four feet high, the perfect height for small people to hoist themselves onto.
  • He pulled himself up next to her, hoisting her onto his lap.


1An act of raising or lifting something.
Example sentences
  • Instead, Dick persuaded Fritz to sail to the next platform and ask the crane driver to give them a hoist into the water.
  • Just as you get your side beautifully fixed, he gives it a hoist from his end, and spoils it all.
1.1An apparatus for lifting or raising something: mechanical lifts or hoists for firefighting purposes
More example sentences
  • There was one woman, also in a wheelchair, who instead of getting out at the bottom of the stairs and walking up, insisted on a mechanical hoist to lift her, chair and all, up to the plane's door.
  • Now the council has stepped in to try and make some of them safe by using a hoist to lift the stones and bedding them in concrete two feet deep.
  • I then felt a series of bumps, which I later learned was just the rescue hoist jerking.
lifting gear, crane, winch, tackle, block and tackle, pulley, windlass, davit, derrick
1.2An act of increasing something: an interest rate hoist
More example sentences
  • The biggest hoist of all, though, was the one his own career enjoyed.
  • But the reason I endured my spell in that job was in order to get my first hoist up the career ladder.
2The part of a flag nearest the staff.
Example sentences
  • Visibility was always the main drawback to this medium, accentuated when steam propulsion permitted ships to ignore wind direction so that flag hoists might be end-on to those supposed to read them.
  • As though to help answer his query a breeze took the flag and Armand was surprised to see it was the Canadian coat-of-arms with union jack at the hoist, the flag of that country at the time.
  • The Union Flag occupies the upper, hoist quarter of an otherwise red flag and the Arms are within the red field.
3A group of flags raised as a signal.
Example sentences
  • In addition, flag hoists and flashing light signals were sent to try and get the ship to halt.
  • On Stuart's flag deck a member of the ship's company prepares a hoist.



hoist one's flag

(Of an admiral) take up command.
Example sentences
  • In 1814 he briefly hoisted his flag at sea, commanding the naval escort for Louis XVIII's return to France from his English exile.
  • Before their plans could come to fruition, though, they had a serious falling out, and on 2nd September 1966 he and his family took control of the tower on their own and hoisted their flag.

hoist the flag

Stake one’s claim to discovered territory by displaying a flag.
Example sentences
  • Iwo gave us the uplifting vision of the Marines hoisting the flag on enemy soil.

hoist with one's own petard

see petard.



Example sentences
  • Although many other materials and designs have been used to make these hoisters, nothing beats the elegance of the original.
  • Aside from the superb quality of the hoister itself, the heart of the rig beats in the uniquely designed paddle.


Late 15th century: alteration of dialect hoise, probably from Dutch hijsen or Low German hiesen, but recorded earlier.

Words that rhyme with hoist

foist, joist, moist, unvoiced

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hoist

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