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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English raisen, reisen, from Old Norse reisa ‎(to raise), from Proto-Germanic *raisijaną, *raizijaną ‎(to raise), causative form of Proto-Germanic *rīsaną ‎(to rise), from Proto-Indo-European *rei- ‎(to rise, arise). Cognate with Old English rāsian ‎(to explore, examine, research), Old English rīsan ‎(to seize, carry off), Old English rǣran ‎(to cause to rise, raise, rear, build, create). More at rear.


raise ‎(third-person singular simple present raises, present participle raising, simple past and past participle raised)

  1. (physical) To cause to rise; to lift or elevate.
    to raise your hand if you want to say something; to raise your walking stick to defend yourself
    1. To form by the accumulation of materials or constituent parts; to build up; to erect.
      to raise a wall, or a heap of stones
      • Bible, Isaiah xxxix. 3
        I will raise forts against thee.
    2. To cause something to come to the surface of the sea.
      The ship was raised ten years after it had sunk.
    3. (nautical) To cause (the land or any other object) to seem higher by drawing nearer to it.
      to raise Sandy Hook light
    4. (figuratively) To cause (a dead person) to live again, to cause to be undead.
      The magic spell raised the dead from their graves!
    5. (military) To remove or break up (a blockade), either by withdrawing the ships or forces employed in enforcing it, or by driving them away or dispersing them.
  2. (transitive) To create, increase or develop.
    We need to raise the motivation level in the company.
    to raise the quality of the products; to raise the price of goods
    1. To collect.
      to raise a lot of money for charity; to raise troops
    2. To bring up; to grow; to promote.
      We visited a farm where they raise chickens.
      Chew with your mouth shut — were you raised in a barn?
      to raise somebody to office
    3. To mention (a question, issue) for discussion.
      A few important questions were raised after the attack.
    4. (law) To create; to constitute (a use, or a beneficial interest in property).
      There should be some consideration (i.e. payment or exchange) to raise a use.
    5. To bring into being; to produce; to cause to arise, come forth, or appear.
      • Bible, Deuteronomy xviii. 18.
        I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee.
      • John Milton (1608-1674)
        God vouchsafes to raise another world From him [Noah], and all his anger to forget.
      • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, A Cuckoo in the Nest:
        The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. [] Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
  3. (poker, intransitive) To respond to a bet by increasing the amount required to continue in the hand.
    John bet, and Julie raised, requiring John to put in more money.
  4. (arithmetic) To exponentiate, to involute.
    Two raised to the fifth power equals 32.
  5. (linguistics, transitive, of a verb) To extract (a subject or other verb argument) out of an inner clause.
  6. (linguistics, transitive, of a vowel) To produce a vowel with the tongue positioned closer to the roof of the mouth.
  7. To increase the nominal value of (a cheque, money order, etc.) by fraudulently changing the writing or printing in which the sum payable is specified.
Usage notes[edit]

It is standard U.S. English to raise children, and this usage has become common in all kinds of English since the 1700s. Until fairly recently, U.S. teachers however taught the traditional rule that one should raise crops and animals, but rear children, despite the fact that this contradicted general usage. It is therefore not surprising that some people still prefer to rear children and that this is considered correct but formal in U.S. English. It is widespread in UK English and not considered formal.

It is generally considered incorrect to rear crops or (adult) animals in U.S. English, but this expression is common in UK English.


  • (to cause to rise): lift

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


raise ‎(plural raises)

  1. (US) An increase in wages or salary; a rise (UK).
    The boss gave me a raise.
  2. (weightlifting) A shoulder exercise in which the arms are elevated against resistance.
  3. (curling) A shot in which the delivered stone bumps another stone forward.
  4. (poker) A bet which increased the previous bet.

Derived terms[edit]


Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse hreysi; the spelling came about under the influence of the folk etymology that derived it from the verb.


raise ‎(plural raises)

  1. A cairn or pile of stones.


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