An elevator (or lift in the Commonwealth excluding Canada) is a type of vertical transport equipment that efficiently moves people or goods between floors (levels, decks) of a building, vessel or other structures.
Elevators are generally powered by electric motors that either drive traction cables or counterweight systems like a hoist, or pump hydraulic fluid to raise a cylindrical piston like a jack.
In agriculture and manufacturing, an elevator 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 bucket elevator, grain auger screw conveyor using the principle of Archimedes' screw, or the chain and paddles/forks of hay elevators.
Languages other than English may have loanwords based on either elevator (e.g., Korean and Japanese) or lift (e.g., Russian and Cantonese).
Elevator lobby at the Forest Glen Washington Metro station in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Because of wheelchair access laws, elevators are often a legal requirement in new multistory buildings, especially where wheelchair ramps would be impractical.