- a structure of wood, metal, or rope, commonly consisting of two sidepieces between which a series of bars or rungs are set at suitable distances, forming a means of climbing up or down.
- something resembling this.
- a means of rising, as to eminence: the ladder of success.
- a graded series of stages or levels in status; a hierarchical order of position or rank: high on the political ladder.
- Nautical. companionway(def 1).
- Chiefly British. a run in a stocking.
- to climb or mount by means of a ladder: to ladder a wall.
- to furnish with a ladder: to ladder a water tower.
- Chiefly British. to cause a run in (a stocking).
- Chiefly British. to get a run, as in a stocking.
- to gain in popularity or importance: He laddered to the top of his profession.
Origin of ladder
Related Words for ladderratio, proportion, rate, system, range, extent, scope, gamut, computation, progression, sequence, hierarchy, series, register, reach, spectrum, rule, spread, gradation, way
Examples from the Web for ladder
Contemporary Examples of ladder
Then when we arrive at his flat in Shepherd's Bush following the escape, perhaps there ought to be remnants of the ladder.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Then, a sharp-eyed woman pointed out a ladder leaning against a tree on the side of the pond.Philippe Petit’s Moment of Concern Walking the WTC Tightrope
August 8, 2014
I threw all the food on the floor and I had a friend of mine get up on a ladder and photograph me lying in the middle of it.An Artist Explores the Complicated Relationship Between Women and Food
May 27, 2014
I remember climbing the ladder, and then trying to stand up there because I thought it was solid.Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction
May 4, 2014
Still, not everyone was as tight lipped about poverty on the lower rungs of ladder as Obama was.Obama Misfires in the War on Poverty
January 13, 2014
Historical Examples of ladder
Only—you know the rungs of that ladder ain't fit to be walked on, grandad!
Then he shrugged his shoulders and went slowly up the ladder.
I can drop down, as you said, and get the ladder over to you.'
I could easily get over it myself, but for Kitty we ought to have a ladder.
We never stopped for clothes, but waltzed up the ladder just so.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
- a portable framework of wood, metal, rope, etc, in the form of two long parallel members connected by several parallel rungs or steps fixed to them at right angles, for climbing up or down
- any hierarchy conceived of as having a series of ascending stages, levels, etcthe social ladder
- anything resembling a ladder
- (as modifier)ladder stitch
- Also called: run mainly British a line of connected stitches that have come undone in knitted material, esp stockings
- See ladder tournament
- mainly British to cause a line of interconnected stitches in (stockings, etc) to undo, as by snagging, or (of a stocking) to come undone in this way
Word Origin for ladder
Word Origin and History for ladder
Old English hlæder "ladder, steps," from Proto-Germanic *khlaidri (cf. Old Frisian hledere, Middle Dutch ledere, Old High German leitara, German Leiter), from PIE root *klei- "to lean" (cf. Greek klimax "ladder;" see lean (v.)). In late Old English, rungs were læddrestæfæ and the side pieces were ledder steles. The belief that walking under one brings bad luck is attested from 1787, but its origin likely is more pragmatic than symbolic. Ladder-back (adj.) as a type of chair is from 1898.
Idioms and Phrases with ladder
see bottom of the ladder.