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stage (stāj)
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.]

stageful n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

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.