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1. To pick someone or something up off a person or surface. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lift" and "off." Please help me lift this box off the table. The two security guards lifted the guy right off his seat and threw him out the door.
2. Of an aircraft, to achieve or begin flight. The helicopter lifted off, blowing a huge billowing dust cloud into the crowd of spectators.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lift something off (of) someone or somethingand lift something off
to raise something and uncover or release someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Lift the beam off of him and see if he is still breathing. Please lift off the heavy lid.
[for a plane or rocket] to move upward, leaving the ground. The rocket lifted off exactly on time.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Begin flight, as in The spacecraft was due to lift off at ten o'clock. The off in this idiom means "off the ground." [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To pick something up from some surface: I lifted the lid off the pan to let the heat escape. I unfastened the tarp and lifted it off from the tent.
2. To leave the ground and begin flight: The spacecraft will lift off at noon.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.