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This page has 30 definitions of raise in English and Middle English. Raise is a verb and noun. Examples of how to use raise in a sentence are shown. Also define these 54 related words and terms: rise, lift, elevate, nautical, yeast, leaven, resurrect, military, siege, collect, amass, call up, force, troop, bring up, grow, promote, mention, law, use, poker, bet, arithmetic, exponentiate, involute, linguistics, subject, verb, argument, clause, vowel, tongue, roof, programming, instantiate, transmit, exception, throw, event, open, initiate, pay raise, increase, wage, salary, shoulder, exercise, curling, stone, previous, cairn, pile, stones, and reys.



Etymology 1

From Middle English reysen, 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 *h₁rey- (to rise, arise).

Cognate with Old English rāsian (to explore, examine, research), Old English rīsan (to seize, carry off), Old English rǣran (to raise). Doublet of 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
    2. To cause something to come to the surface of water.
      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. To make (bread, etc.) light, as by yeast or leaven.
    5. (figuratively) To cause (a dead person) to live again; to resurrect.
      The magic spell raised the dead from their graves!
    6. (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.
    7. (military, transitive) To relinquish (a siege), or cause this to be done.
    • Rise definition
      To move, or appear to move, physically upwards relative to the ground.
      1. To move upwards. (1 of 27 rise definitions)
    • Leaven definition
      Any agent used to make dough rise or to have a similar effect on baked goods. (1 of 2 leaven definitions)
  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; to raise (increase) taxes
    1. To collect or amass.
      to raise a lot of money for charity; to raise troops
      • 2021 October 20, “Stop & Examine”, in RAIL, number 942, page 71:
        Every pound raised goes to helping some of the world's most vulnerable children.
    2. (obsolete) To call up the forces of, to raise the troops from.
    3. To bring up; to grow.
      We visited a farm where they raise chickens.
      Chew with your mouth shut — were you raised in a barn?
    4. To promote.
      to raise somebody to office
    5. To mention (a question, issue) for discussion.
      A few important questions were raised after the attack.
    6. (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.
    7. To bring into being; to produce; to cause to arise, come forth, or appear.
      Starting in January we will raise (introduce) taxes on all tobacco substitutes and vaping accessories.
    • Force definition
      Strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigour; might; capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect. (1 of 14 force definitions)
    • Troop definition
      A collection of people; a number; a multitude (in general). (1 of 11 troop definitions)
    • Mention definition
      A speaking or notice of anything, usually in a brief or cursory manner. Used especially in the phrase make mention of. (1 of 2 mention definitions)
  3. To establish contact with (e.g., by telephone or radio).
    Despite all the call congestion, she was eventually able to raise the police.
  4. (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.
  5. (arithmetic) To exponentiate, to involute.
    Two raised to the fifth power equals 32.
  6. (linguistics, transitive, of a verb) To extract (a subject or other verb argument) out of an inner clause.
    • Linguistics definition
      The scientific study of language.
    • Verb definition
      A word that indicates an action, event, or state of being. (1 of 4 verb definitions)
    • Clause definition
      A verb, its necessary grammatical arguments, and any adjuncts affecting them. (1 of 3 clause definitions)
  7. (linguistics, transitive, of a vowel) To produce a vowel with the tongue positioned closer to the roof of the mouth.
  8. 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.
  9. (programming, transitive) To instantiate and transmit (an exception, by throwing it, or an event).
    A division by zero will raise an exception.
    • 2007, Bruce Bukovics, Pro WF: Windows Workflow in .NET 3.0 (page 243)
      Provide some mechanism in the local service class to raise the event. This might take the form of a public method that the host application can invoke to raise the event.
    • Exception definition
      The act of excepting or excluding; exclusion; restriction by taking out something which would otherwise be included, as in a class, statement, rule. (1 of 6 exception definitions)
  10. (India, transitive) To open, initiate.
    I will raise a trouble-ticket in order to correct this reporting issue.
Usage notes
  • It is standard US English to raise children, and this usage has become common in all kinds of English since the 1700s. Until fairly recently, however, US teachers 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 US English. Modern British English also prefers "raise" over "rear".
  • It is generally considered incorrect to say rear crops or (adult) animals in US English, but this expression is (or was until relatively recently) common in British English.
  • (to cause to rise): lift
Derived terms
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 Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


raise (plural raises)

  1. (US) Ellipsis of pay raise.: an increase in wages or salary.
    The boss gave me a raise.
    • Wage definition
      An amount of money paid to a worker for a specified quantity of work, usually calculated on an hourly basis and expressed in an amount of money per hour.
    • Salary definition
      A fixed amount of money paid to a worker, usually calculated on a monthly or annual basis, not hourly, as wages. Implies a degree of professionalism and/or autonomy.
  2. (weightlifting) A shoulder exercise in which the arms are elevated against resistance.
    • Shoulder definition
      The part of an animal's body between the base of the neck and forearm socket.
      1. The part of the human torso forming a relatively horizontal surface running away from the neck. (1 of 21 shoulder definitions)
  3. (curling) A shot in which the delivered stone bumps another stone forward.
    • Curling definition
      The action or motion of something that curls or is curled. (1 of 2 curling definitions)
  4. (poker) A bet that increases the previous bet.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

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.

Further reading


Middle English



  1. Alternative form of reys