or stair well



the vertical shaft or opening containing a stairway.

Origin of stairwell

First recorded in 1915–20; stair + well2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stairwell

Contemporary Examples of stairwell

Historical Examples of stairwell

  • I would like to have the Commissioners note that—that the man was standing near the "up" part of the stairwell.

    Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • At the door Bill poked his head in and shouted up the stairwell, "Hi—Tom?"

    The Black Tide

    Arthur G. Stangland

  • When Jon questioned him he indicated a stairwell against the rear wall.

    The Velvet Glove

    Harry Harrison

  • At one end it merged into an incline that became a stairwell.

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison

  • He went clumping down the steps, cursing the darkness of the stairwell and the steep pitch of the stairs.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

British Dictionary definitions for stairwell



a vertical shaft or opening that contains a staircase
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 stairwell

by 1862, from stair + well (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper