stair

[ stair ]
/ stɛər /

noun

one of a flight or series of steps for going from one level to another, as in a building.
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.
a series or flight of steps; stairway: a winding stair.

Nearby words

  1. staines,
  2. staining,
  3. stainless,
  4. stainless steel,
  5. stainlessly,
  6. stair rod,
  7. staircase,
  8. staircase phenomenon,
  9. stairhead,
  10. stairlift

Origin of stair

before 1000; Middle English stey(e)r, Old English stǣger; cognate with Dutch, Low German steiger landing; akin to sty1

Related formsstair·less, adjectivestair·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stairs


British Dictionary definitions for stairs

stairs

/ (stɛəz) /

pl n

a flight of steps leading from one storey or level to another, esp indoors
below stairs British in the servants' quarters; in domestic service

stair

/ (stɛə) /

noun

one of a flight of stairs
a series of stepsa narrow stair
See also stairs

Word Origin for stair

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

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