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[stair] /stɛər/
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.
before 1000; Middle English stey(e)r, Old English stǣger; cognate with Dutch, Low German steiger landing; akin to sty1
Related forms
stairless, adjective
stairlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for stairlike


one of a flight of stairs
a series of steps a narrow stair
See also stairs
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for stairlike
O.E. stæger "flight of steps," also "a single step," from P.Gmc. *staigri (cf. O.N., O.Fris. stiga, M.Du. stighen, O.H.G. stigan, Ger. steigen, Goth. steigan "to go up, ascend;" O.E. stigan "to climb, go;" Ger. Steig "path," O.E. stig "narrow path"), from PIE *steigh- "go, rise, stride, step, walk" (cf. Gk. steikhein "to go, march in order," stikhos "row, line, rank, verse;" Skt. stighnoti "mounts, rises, steps;" O.C.S. stignati "to overtake," stigna "place;" Lith. staiga "suddenly;" O.Ir. tiagaim "I walk;" Welsh taith "going, walk, way"). Originally also a collective plural; stairs developed by 1398. OED says stair still is ordinary in Scotland where flight of stairs would be used elsewhere. Staircase is from 1624, originally the enclosure of the stairs; stairway is from 1767.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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