To raise or haul up with or as if with the help of a mechanical apparatus. See Synonyms at lift. To raise to one's mouth in order to drink: hoist a few beers. To become raised or lifted. An apparatus for lifting heavy or cumbersome objects. The act of hoisting; a lift. Nautical The height or vertical dimension of a flag or of any square sail other than a course. Nautical A group of flags raised together as a signal.