|1.||Old Testament the ladder reaching up to heaven that Jacob saw in a dream (Genesis 28:12--17)|
|2.||Also called: jack ladder a ladder made of wooden or metal steps supported by ropes or chains|
|3.||a North American polemoniaceous plant, Polemonium caeruleum, with blue flowers and a ladder-like arrangement of leaves|
|4.||any of several similar or related plants|
A ladder that Jacob saw in a dream. After he had obtained his brother Esau's birthright and received his father's blessing, he had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending a ladder that extended from Earth to heaven. God, who stood at the top of the ladder, promised to bless Jacob and his offspring and to bring his descendants into the Promised Land. (See Jacob and Esau.)
any of about 25 species of the genus Polemonium of the family Polemoniaceae, native to temperate areas in North and South America and Eurasia. Many are valued as garden flowers and wildflowers. They have loose, spikelike clusters of drooping blue, violet, or white, funnel-shaped, five-petaled flowers and alternate, pinnately (featherlike) compound leaves.
Learn more about Jacob's ladder with a free trial on Britannica.com.