Definition for STAGE

STAGE, n. [Fr. etage, a story, a degree; Arm. estaich; Sax. stigan, to go, to ascend; Dan. stiger, to step up, to ascend; Sw. stiga, to step; steg, a step, stege, a ladder; D. stygen, to mount, G. steigen. Properly, one step or degree of elevation, and what the French call stage, we call a story. Hence,]

  1. A floor or platform of any kind elevated above the ground or common surface, as for an exhibition of something to public view; as, a stage for a mountebank; a stage for speakers in public; a stage for mechanics. Seamen use floating stages, and stages suspended by the side of a ship, for calking and repairing.
  2. The floor on which theatrical performances are exhibited, as distinct from the pit, &c. Hence,
  3. The theater; the place of scenic entertainments. Knights, squires and steeds must enter on the stage. – Pope.
  4. Theatrical representations. It is contended that the stage is a school of morality. Let it be inquired, where is the person whom the stage has reformed?
  5. A place where any thing is publicly exhibited. When we are born, we cry that we are come / To this great stage of fools. – Shak.
  6. Place of action or performance; as, the stage of life.
  7. A place of rest on a journey, or where a relay of horses is taken. When we arrive at the next stage, we will take some refreshment. Hence,
  8. The distance between two places of rest on a road; as, a stage of fifteen miles.
  9. A single step; degree of advance; degree of progression, either in increase or decrease, in rising or falling, or in any change of state; as, the several stages of a war; the stages of civilization or improvement; stages of growth in an animal or plant; stages of a disease, of decline or recovery; the several stages of human life.
  10. [instead of stage-coach, or stage-wagon.] A coach or other carriage running regularly from one place to another for the conveyance of passengers. I went in the sixpenny stage. – Swift. A parcel sent by the stage. – Cowper. [American usage.]

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