from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A raised and level floor or platform.
  • noun A raised platform on which theatrical performances are presented.
  • noun An area in which actors perform.
  • noun The acting profession, or the world of theater. Used with the:
  • noun The scene of an event or of a series of events.
  • noun A platform on a microscope that supports a slide for viewing.
  • noun A scaffold for workers.
  • noun A resting place on a journey, especially one providing overnight accommodations.
  • noun The distance between stopping places on a journey; a leg.
  • noun A stagecoach.
  • noun A level or story of a building.
  • noun The height of the surface of a river or other fluctuating body of water above a set point.
  • noun A level, degree, or period of time in the course of a process.
  • noun A point in the course of an action or series of events.
  • noun One of two or more successive propulsion units of a rocket vehicle that fires after the preceding one has been jettisoned.
  • noun Geology A subdivision in the classification of stratified rocks, ranking just below a series and representing rock formed during a chronological age.
  • noun Electronics An element or a group of elements in a complex arrangement of parts, especially a single tube or transistor and its accessory components in an amplifier.
  • intransitive verb To exhibit or present to an audience.
  • intransitive verb To prepare (a house) for sale by altering its appearance.
  • intransitive verb To produce or direct (a theatrical performance).
  • intransitive verb To arrange and carry out.
  • intransitive verb Medicine To determine the extent or progression of (a cancer, for example).
  • intransitive verb To be adaptable to or suitable for theatrical presentation.
  • intransitive verb To stop at a designated place in the course of a journey.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To represent in a play or on the stage; exhibit on the stage.
  • To place or put on the stage; mount, as a play.
  • To travel by stage-coach: sometimes with indefinite it.
  • noun A floor or story of a house.
  • noun A house; building.
  • noun In architecture, the portion between a projection and the retreat next above it in a medieval buttress; also, one of the horizontal divisions of a window separated by transoms.
  • noun A floor or platform elevated above the ground or common surface, for the exhibition of a play or spectacle, for public speakers or performers, or for convenience of view, use, or access: as, a stage for a mountebank; a stage for speakers in public.
  • noun Specifically— A floor elevated for the convenience of performing mechanical work and the like; a scaffold; a staging: as, seamen use floating stages, and stages suspended by the side of a ship, for calking and repairing.
  • noun In printing, a low platform on which stacks of paper are piled.
  • noun A shelf or horizontal compartment, as one of the steps of a court-cupboard.
  • noun The platform on which an object is placed to be viewed through a microscope.
  • noun A wooden structure on a beach to assist in landing; a landing-place at a quay or pier. It sometimes rises and falls with the tide, or is lowered or raised to suit the varying height of the water.
  • noun A raised platform on which theatrical performances are exhibited; the flooring in a theater on which the actors perform. In modern theaters the stage includes not only the part which can be seen from the auditorium, but also the spaces on each side, behind the prosceniumarch, which are used for shifting the wings or side-scenes, and are themselves called the wings. The part extending back from the orchestra to the proscenfum-arch is called the proscenium. That side of the stage which is on the extreme left of the spectator is called the prompt-side, because in theaters which have no prompt-box the prompter stands there. The corresponding position to the spectator's right is called the opposite-prompt-side (or, briefly, o.-p.-side). Half-way between the center and the promptside is the prompt-center, the corresponding position to the right being called the opposite-prompt-center (or, briefly, o.-p.-center). The stage is thus divided laterally into five parts, called in order the prompt-side, the prompt-center, the center, the o.-p.-center, and the o.-p.-side, and these designations extend through the whole depth of the stage, as well as up into the flies: thus the five ropes by which a dropscene is raised or lowered are known as the prompt-siderope, prompt-center rope, center-rope, etc. As regards depth, the stage is divided into entrances varying in number according to the number of the wings or side-scenes. That between the proscenium and the first wing is called on one side the first prompt-entrance, and on the other the first o.-p.-entrance. From the first wing to the next is the second prompt- or second o.-p.-entrance, and so on. Everything above the stage from the top of the proscenium-arch upward is called the flies, and includes the borders, border-lights, all needed ropes, pulleys, and cleats, the beams to which these are attached, and the fly-galleries, from the lowest of which the drop-scenes are worked. The ancient Greek theater in its original form, as developed in the fifth century b. c., had no raised stage, the actors appearing in the orchestra amid the chorus.
  • noun Hence With the definite article, the theater; the drama as acted or exhibited, or the profession of representing dramatic compositions: as, to take to the stage; to regard the stage as a school of elocution.
  • noun A place where anything is publicly exhibited; a field for action; the scene of any noted action or career; the spot where any remarkable affair occurs.
  • noun A place of rest on a journey, or where a relay of horses is taken, or where a stage-coach changes horses; a station.
  • noun Hence The distance between two places of rest on a road: in some countries a regular unit.
  • noun A single step of a gradual process; degree of advance or of progression, either in increase or decrease, in rising or falling, or in any change of state: as, stages of growth in an animal or a plant; the stages of a disease; in biology, a state or condition of being, as one of several successive steps in a course of development: as, the larval, pupal, and imaginal stages of an insect; several stages of an embryo.
  • noun Same as stagecoach; also , an omnibus.
  • noun In geology, a stratigraphic division equivalent to and expressing the work done during an age.
  • noun Specifically— A plank hung horizontally over a ship's side for men to stand or sit upon while cleaning or painting the ship.

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

  • transitive verb To exhibit upon a stage, or as upon a stage; to display publicly.
  • noun obsolete A floor or story of a house.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French estage, from Vulgar Latin *staticum, from Latin status, past participle of stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English stage, from Old French estage ("story of a building, performance stage, floor, loft"), from Vulgar Latin *stāticum ("standing-place"), from Latin stāre ("to stand"). Cognate with Old English stæde, stede ("state, status, standing, place"). More at stead.


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  • @ lyric: the French meaning.

    May 1, 2008

  • I especially like "stage" as a verb.

    August 9, 2009