An elevator (US and Canada) or lift (UK, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa) is a type of vertical transportation that moves people or goods between floors (levels, decks) of a building, vessel, or other structure. Elevators/lifts are generally powered by electric motors that either drive traction cables and counterweight systems like a hoist, or pump hydraulic fluid to raise a cylindrical piston like a jack.
In agriculture and manufacturing, an elevator/lift is any type of conveyor device used to lift materials in a continuous stream into bins or silos. Several types exist, such as the chain and bucket elevator, grain auger screw conveyor using the principle of Archimedes' screw, or the chain and paddles or forks of hay elevators.
Languages other than English may have loanwords based on either elevator or lift.
Elevator lobby at the Forest Glen Washington Metro station in Silver Spring, Maryland Because of wheelchair access laws, elevators/lifts are often a legal requirement in new multistory buildings, especially where wheelchair ramps would be impractical.