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

stairless, adjective
stairlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stair (stɛə)
1.  one of a flight of stairs
2.  a series of steps: a narrow stair
[Old English stæger; related to stīg narrow path, stīgan to ascend, descend, Old Norse steigurligr upright, Middle Dutch steiger ladder]

stairs (stɛəz)
pl n
1.  a flight of steps leading from one storey or level to another, esp indoors
2.  (Brit) below stairs in the servants' quarters; in domestic service

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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Example sentences
To cover this distance by foot, walk to the outdoor stairway at the edge of the
  tunnel and climb the stairs.
Ellen came hurrying down the stairs, her avoidable haste acting in its normal
  way upon her husband.
Squares and rectangles appear throughout the garden and shape three multilevel
  backyard patios connected by wide stairs.
It has four floors, with many stairs in between thanks to the high ceilings.
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