use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

stage (stāj)
Share:
n.
1. A raised and level floor or platform.
2.
a. A raised platform on which theatrical performances are presented.
b. An area in which actors perform.
c. The acting profession, or the world of theater. Used with the: The stage is her life.
3. The scene of an event or of a series of events.
4. A platform on a microscope that supports a slide for viewing.
5. A scaffold for workers.
6. A resting place on a journey, especially one providing overnight accommodations.
7. The distance between stopping places on a journey; a leg: proceeded in easy stages.
8. A stagecoach.
9. A level or story of a building.
10. The height of the surface of a river or other fluctuating body of water above a set point: at flood stage.
11.
a. A level, degree, or period of time in the course of a process: the toddler stage of child development; the early stages of a disease.
b. A point in the course of an action or series of events: too early to predict a winner at this stage.
12. One of two or more successive propulsion units of a rocket vehicle that fires after the preceding one has been jettisoned.
13. Geology A subdivision in the classification of stratified rocks, ranking just below a series and representing rock formed during a chronological age.
14. 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.
v. staged, stag·ing, stag·es
v.tr.
1.
a. To exhibit or present to an audience: stage a boxing match.
b. To prepare (a house) for sale by altering its appearance.
2.
a. To produce or direct (a theatrical performance): That director has staged Hamlet in New York City.
b. To arrange the subjects of (a movie, for example) in front of a camera to achieve a desired effect: The director stages romantic scenes well.
3. To arrange and carry out: stage an invasion.
4. Medicine To determine the extent or progression of (a cancer, for example).
v.intr.
1. To be adaptable to or suitable for theatrical presentation: a play that stages well.
2. To stop at a designated place in the course of a journey: "tourists from London who had staged through Warsaw" (Frederick Forsyth).

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

stageful n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.