Etymology
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stage (n.)

mid-13c., "story of a building;" early 14c., "raised platform used for public display" (also "the platform beneath the gallows"), from Old French estage "building, dwelling place; stage for performance; phase, stage, rest in a journey" (12c., Modern French étage "story of a house, stage, floor, loft"), from Vulgar Latin *staticum "a place for standing," from Latin statum, past participle of stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Meaning "platform for presentation of a play" is attested from late 14c.; generalized for "profession of an actor" from 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.

stage (v.)

early 14c., "to erect, construct," from stage (n.). The meaning "put into a play" is from c. 1600; that of "put (a play) on the stage" first recorded 1879; general sense of "to mount" (a comeback, etc.) is attested from 1924. Related: Staged; staging.

updated on October 14, 2021

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Definitions of stage from WordNet
1
stage (n.)
any distinct time period in a sequence of events;
we are in a transitional stage in which many former ideas must be revised or rejected
Synonyms: phase
stage (n.)
a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process;
at what stage are the social sciences?
Synonyms: degree / level / point
stage (n.)
a large platform on which people can stand and can be seen by an audience;
he clambered up onto the stage and got the actors to help him into the box
stage (n.)
the theater as a profession (usually `the stage');
an early movie simply showed a long kiss by two actors of the contemporary stage
stage (n.)
a large coach-and-four formerly used to carry passengers and mail on regular routes between towns;
we went out of town together by stage about ten or twelve miles
Synonyms: stagecoach
stage (n.)
a section or portion of a journey or course;
then we embarked on the second stage of our Caribbean cruise
Synonyms: leg
stage (n.)
any scene regarded as a setting for exhibiting or doing something; "All the world's a stage"--Shakespeare;
it set the stage for peaceful negotiations
stage (n.)
a small platform on a microscope where the specimen is mounted for examination;
Synonyms: microscope stage
2
stage (v.)
perform (a play), especially on a stage;
we are going to stage `Othello'
Synonyms: present / represent
stage (v.)
plan, organize, and carry out (an event);
the neighboring tribe staged an invasion
Synonyms: arrange
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.