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stair

[stair] /stɛər/
noun
1.
one of a flight or series of steps for going from one level to another, as in a building.
2.
stairs, such steps collectively, especially as forming a flight or a series of flights:
I was so excited I ran all the way up the stairs.
3.
a series or flight of steps; stairway:
a winding stair.
Origin of stair
1000
before 1000; Middle English stey(e)r, Old English stǣger; cognate with Dutch, Low German steiger landing; akin to sty1
Related forms
stairless, adjective
stairlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for stairs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the head of the stairs they parted, Milbrey joining the lady who had waited for him.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • He took his uncle up in his strong arms, and moved toward the stairs.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • What I hear at night is the creaking of stairs, when I know that nobody ought to be stirring.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • He swept up the blankets and went down the stairs to the first floor.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • He accompanied her to the foot of the stairs and lit her candle.

    Viviette William J. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for stairs

stairs

/stɛəz/
plural noun
1.
a flight of steps leading from one storey or level to another, esp indoors
2.
(Brit) below stairs, in the servants' quarters; in domestic service

stair

/stɛə/
noun
1.
one of a flight of stairs
2.
a series of steps: a narrow stair
See also stairs
Word Origin
Old English stæger; related to stīg narrow path, stīgan to ascend, descend, Old Norse steigurligr upright, Middle Dutch steiger ladder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for stairs

stair

n.

Old English stæger "flight of steps," also "a single step," from Proto-Germanic *staigri (cf. Old Norse and Old Frisian stiga, Middle Dutch stighen, Old High German stigan, German steigen, Gothic steigan "to go up, ascend;" Old English stigan "to climb, go;" German Steig "path," Old English stig "narrow path"), from PIE *steigh- "go, rise, stride, step, walk" (cf. Greek steikhein "to go, march in order," stikhos "row, line, rank, verse;" Sanskrit stighnoti "mounts, rises, steps;" Old Church Slavonic stignati "to overtake," stigna "place;" Lithuanian staiga "suddenly;" Old Irish tiagaim "I walk;" Welsh taith "going, walk, way").

Originally also a collective plural; stairs developed by late 14c. OED says stair still is ordinary in Scotland where flight of stairs would be used elsewhere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for stairs

stairs

Related Terms

upstairs, the man upstairs

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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6
6
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