1. A raised and level floor or platform.
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.
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
a. To exhibit or present to an audience: stage a boxing match.
b. To prepare (a house) for sale by altering its appearance.
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).
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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.