c. 1300, "platform or raised floor at one end of a room or hall," from Anglo-French deis, Old French dais, dois "platform, high table," from Latin discus "disk-shaped object," also, in Medieval Latin, "table," from Greek diskos "quoit, disk, dish" (see disk (n.)). It died out in English c. 1600, was preserved in Scotland, and was revived 19c. by antiquarians.
mid-14c., "temporary wooden framework upon which workmen stand in erecting a building, etc.," a shortening of an Old North French variant of Old French eschafaut "scaffold" (Modern French échafaud), probably altered (by influence of eschace "a prop, support") from chaffaut, from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum.
This is from Greek kata- "down" (see cata-), used in Medieval Latin with a sense of "beside, alongside" + fala "scaffolding, wooden siege tower," a word said to be of Etruscan origin.
From late 14c. as "raised platform on a stage in a play;" the general sense of "viewing stand" is from c. 1400. The meaning "platform for a hanging" is from 1550s (as a platform for a beheading from mid-15c.). Dutch schavot, German Schafott, Danish skafot are from French.
As a verb from mid-15c., scaffolden, "construct a scaffold;" by 1660s as "put a scaffold up to" (a building).
"pulpit or platform from which a speaker addresses an audience," 1540s, originally in an ancient Roman context, from Latin rostrum, the name of the platform stand for public speakers in the Forum in ancient Rome. It was decorated with the beaks of ships taken in the first naval victory of the Roman republic, over Antium, in 338 B.C.E., and the Latin word's older sense is "end of a ship's prow," literally "beak, muzzle, snout," originally "means of gnawing," an instrument noun from rodere "to gnaw" (see rodent).
The beaks were an ancient form of ram, a beam spiked with pointed iron for the purpose of sinking other vessels. For the form, compare claustrum "lock, bar," from claudere "to shut." The extended sense, in reference to any platform for public speaking, is attested by 1766.
The classical plural is rostra, though in English this is more common in the original "ship's beak" sense and -rums often is used in the secondary sense.
early 15c., "a judgment seat," from Old French tribunal "justice seat, judgment seat" (13c.) and directly from Latin tribunal "platform for the seat of magistrates, elevation, embankment," from tribunus "official in ancient Rome, magistrate," literally "head of a tribe" (see tribune). Hence, "a court of justice or judicial assembly" (1580s).
Sense of "period of development or time in life" first recorded early 14c., probably from Middle English sense of "degree or step on the 'ladder' of virtue, 'wheel' of fortune, etc.," in parable illustrations and morality plays. Meaning "a step in sequence, a stage of a journey" is late 14c. Meaning "level of water in a river, etc." is from 1814, American English.
Stage-name is from 1727. Stage-mother (n.) in the overbearing mother-of-an-actress sense is from 1915. Stage-door is from 1761, hence Stage-Door Johnny "young man who frequents stage doors seeking the company of actresses, chorus girls, etc." (1907). Stage whisper, such as used by an actor on stage to be heard by the audience, first attested 1865. Stage-manage (v.) is from 1871.
also dumbwaiter, 1749, "a framework with shelves between a kitchen and a dining-room for conveying foods, etc.," from dumb (adj.) + waiter; so called because it serves as a waiter but is silent. As a movable platform for passing dishes, etc., up and down from one room (especially a basement kitchen) to another, from 1847.