da·​is ˈdā-əs How to pronounce dais (audio)
ˈdī- How to pronounce dais (audio)
: a raised platform (as in a hall or large room)
Mounting the dais which had been set up for his use, he swirled the sinister cloak about him and sat down in the Abbot's chair.Brian Jacques

Example Sentences

the speaker took his place at the front of the dais
Recent Examples on the Web Lensing turned in her chair on the dais toward the American flag, but remained seated as others stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance at the Board of Education meetings Tuesday and May 9 at the Lincoln Center administration building in Waukegan in staying true to earlier messages. Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 25 May 2023 Candidates — including civil rights activist Rosie Castro — are lining up to fill a soon-to-be vacant position on City Council as Ana Sandoval prepares to leave the dais at the end of the month. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Jan. 2023 Perrone, his executive board, and business agents were seated on a dais, facing the members. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2023 Before De León appeared on the dais, his supporters pleaded with the other council members not to censure their man. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2022 Later, as the Senate voted on whether to allow the bill to move forward, members of both parties were seated at their desks and rose in turn to register their positions, with Vice President Kamala Harris presiding from the dais — customs normally reserved for special occasions. Carl Hulse, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2022 Officials milled around the dais while Williams continued to rail against the city. Blake Nelson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2023 With all 142 Naperville precincts in DuPage and Will counties reporting, incumbent Patrick Kelly has been returned to his Naperville City Council seat and newcomers Allison Longenbaugh and Josh McBroom will join him on the dais, unofficial election results show. Suzanne Baker, Chicago Tribune, 5 Apr. 2023 Attendees lined the circular drive and stretched toward the stone wall running along the north side of the property as a succession of guests, from Priscilla Presley to Memphis Mafia alum Jerry Schilling, took the dais. Jim Beaugez, Rolling Stone, 22 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dais.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English deis, des "high table, elevated platform occupied by a court or council," borrowed from Anglo-French deis, dais (continental Old French deis "table of honor set up on a platform"), going back to Medieval Latin discus "raised table, platform," going back to Latin, "discus, kind of plate, gong," borrowed from Greek dískos "discus," in Late Greek also "dish, round mirror, the sun's disk, gong" — more at discus

Note: See note at dish entry 1. The predominant form in Middle French is dois, which should have resulted in Modern French [dwa]; the reason for the outcome dais [dɛ], with the presumed shift [dwɛ] to [dɛ], is in this, as in a number of parallel cases, unclear. As pointed out by the Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, the English word was, excepting Scots, out of use by 1600; the current word is an antiquarian revival, with the spelling presumably copying modern French.

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dais was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near dais

Cite this Entry

“Dais.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dais. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


da·​is ˈdā-əs How to pronounce dais (audio)
: a raised platform (as in a large room)

More from Merriam-Webster on dais

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