from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A framework with shelves, placed between a kitchen and a dining-room for conveying food, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A framework on which dishes, food, etc., are passed from one room or story of a house to another; a lift for dishes, etc.; also, a piece of furniture with movable or revolving shelves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative spelling of dumbwaiter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a small elevator used to convey food (or other goods) from one floor of a building to another


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Wetherell The house also has a lift and dumb-waiter system in the kitchen, vaults, air cooling and mood lighting, operated through a state-of-the-art Crestron system.

    Edwardian Terraced Townhouse

  • Moreover, he had a knowing glance with his eye, which I should have as soon expected from a dumb-waiter — an article of furniture to which James, in his usual state, may be happily assimilated.


  • This was brought about solely by the arrangement of the flats, which were united in one place, as it were, by the dumb-waiter.

    Sister Carrie

  • If the occupants of both flats answered to the whistle of the janitor at the same time, they would stand face to face when they opened the dumb-waiter doors.

    Sister Carrie

  • The stationary range, hot and cold water, dumb-waiter, speaking tubes, and call-bell for the janitor pleased her very much.

    Sister Carrie

  • I used to visit that library as a boy, when visitors 'book requests were sent by pneumatic tube into some distant repository in the bowels of the earth, and the requested books would eventually come forth via dumb-waiter.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • Located directly below the Oyster Bar kitchen, the old boarded-up dumb-waiter used to bring mounds of greasy dishes to be washed in the deep sinks and dried and sent back upstairs.


  • Here is his round-corner room, with walls of famous thickness, and a dumb-waiter lifting up through the floor the table and all its viands, that here he might dine alone with his intimates and no tell-tale sounds escape.

    In and Around Berlin

  • The approaches are guarded by the senators and _conservatori_, patriarchs and bishops, and at meal-times, a judge of the _Rota_ is stationed at the dumb-waiter to examine the dishes as they are brought up, and make sure that the intrigues within get no help from the intrigues without.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864

  • "Not that it matters much, 'cause the dumb-waiter down to where you be ain't waitin 'to-day, but it's manners, kinder, to ask."

    Hidden Gold


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