From Middle English liften, lyften, from Old Norse lypta ("to lift, air"), from Proto-Germanic *luftijaną ("to raise in the air"), related to *luftuz, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *lewp- ("to peel, break off, damage") or from a root meaning roof (see *luftuz). Cognate with Danish and Norwegian Bokmål løfte ("to lift"), Norwegian Nynorsk and Swedish lyfta ("to lift"), German lüften ("to air, lift"), Old English lyft ("air"). See above. 1851 for the noun sense "a mechanical device for vertical transport".
For this sense Cleasby suggests perhaps a relation to the root of Gothic 𐌷𐌻𐌹𐍆𐍄𐌿𐍃 "thief", cognate with Latin cleptus and Greek κλέπτω)
From Middle English lifte, luft, lefte, from Old English lyft, from Proto-West Germanic *luftu, from Proto-Germanic *luftuz, from Proto-Indo-European *lewp-.
Cognate with Old High German luft ("air") (German Luft), Dutch lucht ("air"), Old Norse lopt ("upper room, sky, air"). More at loft.
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