c.1200, "cause a rising of; lift upright, set upright; build, construct," from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse reisa "to raise," from Proto-Germanic *raizjan (cf. Gothic ur-raisjan, Old English ræran "to rear;" see rear (v.)), causative of root *ris- "to rise" (see rise (v.)). At first sharing many senses with native rear (v.).
Meaning "make higher" is from c.1300 in the physical sense, as is that of "restore to life." Of the voice, from late 14c. Meaning "increase the amount of" is from c.1500; from 1530s of prices, etc. Meaning "to bring up" (a question, etc.) is from 1640s. Card-playing sense is from 1821. Meaning "promote the growth of" (plants, etc.) is from 1660s; sense of "foster, rear, bring up" (of children) is from 1744. Meaning "to elevate" (the consciousness) is from 1970. Related: Raised; raising.
Pickering (1816) has a long passage on the use of raise and grow in reference to crops. He writes that in the U.S. raise is used of persons, in the sense "brought up," but it is "never thus used in the Northern States. Bartlett  adds that it "is applied in the Southern States to the breeding of negroes. It is sometimes heard at the North among the illiterate; as 'I was raised in Connecticut,' meaning brought up there."