Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈstāj\

Simple Definition of stage

  • : a particular point or period in the growth or development of something

  • : a raised platform in a theater, auditorium, etc., where the performers stand

  • : the art or profession of acting and especially of acting in theaters

Full Definition of stage

  1. 1a :  one of a series of positions or stations one above the other :  stepb :  the height of the surface of a river above an arbitrary zero point <flood stage>

  2. 2a (1) :  a raised platform (2) :  the part of a theater on which the acting takes place and which often includes the wings (3) :  the acting profession :  the theater as an occupation or activity (4) :  soundstageb :  a center of attention or scene of action

  3. 3a :  a scaffold for workmenb :  the small platform of a microscope on which an object is placed for examination

  4. 4a :  a place of rest formerly provided for those traveling by stagecoach :  stationb :  the distance between two stopping places on a roadc :  stagecoach

  5. 5a :  a period or step in a process, activity, or development: as (1) :  one of the distinguishable periods of growth and development of a plant or animal <the larval stage of an insect> (2) :  a period or phase in the course of a disease; also :  the degree of involvement or severity of a disease b :  one passing through a (specified) stage

  6. 6 :  an element or part of an electronic device (as an amplifier)

  7. 7 :  one of two or more sections of a rocket that have their own fuel and engine

stage·ful play \-ˌfu̇l\ noun
stage·like play \-ˌlīk\ adjective
on the stage
  1. :  in or into the acting profession

Examples of stage

  1. an early stage of the disease

  2. children at the same stage of development

  3. The actors walked out onto the stage.

  4. He was on stage for the entire show.

  5. He has no intention of leaving the political stage.

  6. The company wants to compete on the world stage.

Origin of stage

Middle English, from Anglo-French estage abode, story of a building, state, from Vulgar Latin *staticum, from Latin stare to stand — more at stand

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Performing Arts Terms

Rhymes with stage



transitive verb

Simple Definition of stage

  • : to produce (a play, performance, etc.) on a stage

  • : to organize and produce (a public event)

  • : to arrange or do (something that is intended to get a lot of public attention)

Full Definition of stage


  1. 1 :  to produce (as a play) on a stage

  2. 2 :  to produce or cause to happen for public view or public effect <stage a track meet> <stage a hunger strike>

  3. 3 :  to determine the phase or severity of (a disease) based on a classification of established symptomatic criteria; also :  to evaluate (a patient) to determine the phase, severity, or progression of a disease

stage·able play \ˈstā-jə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of stage

  1. The school stages two plays each year.

  2. The students staged a protest.

  3. The school is staging a track meet.

  4. The prisoners are staging a hunger strike.

  5. The photograph of the two leaders shaking hands was deliberately staged.

  6. His career as a singer appeared to be over, but then he staged a comeback.


First Known Use of stage


Other Performing Arts Terms




Definition of stage

  1. :  intended to represent a type or stereotype <a stage Irishman> <a stage French accent>


First Known Use of stage


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.