\ ˈstāj \

Definition of stage

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : one of a series of positions or stations one above the other : step
b : the height of the surface of a river above an arbitrary zero point flood stage
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) : soundstage
b : a center of attention or scene of action
3a : a scaffold for workmen
b : the small platform of a microscope on which an object is placed for examination
4a : a place of rest formerly provided for those traveling by stagecoach : station
b : the distance between two stopping places on a road
5a : a period or step in a process, activity, or development: such 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 : an element or part of an electronic device (such as an amplifier)
7 : one of two or more sections of a rocket that have their own fuel and engine
on the stage
: in or into the acting profession


staged; staging

Definition of stage (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to produce (something, such as a play) on a stage
2 : to produce or cause to happen for public view or public effect stage a track meet stage a hunger strike
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



Definition of stage (Entry 3 of 3)

: intended to represent a type or stereotype a stage Irishman a stage French accent

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stage


stageful \ ˈstāj-​ˌfu̇l \ noun
stagelike \ ˈstāj-​ˌlīk \ adjective


stageable \ ˈstā-​jə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms for stage

Synonyms: Noun

dais, platform, podium, rostrum, stand, tribune

Synonyms: Verb

carry, give, mount, offer, present

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of stage in a Sentence


an early stage of the disease children at the same stage of development The actors walked out onto the stage. He was on stage for the entire show. He has no intention of leaving the political stage. The company wants to compete on the world stage.


The school stages two plays each year. The students staged a protest. The school is staging a track meet. The prisoners are staging a hunger strike. The photograph of the two leaders shaking hands was deliberately staged. His career as a singer appeared to be over, but then he staged a comeback.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This sets the stage for the episode's main drama: Hannah Alabama and Caelynn have Mad Beef and neither of them wants Colton to be with the other. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "An Ode to the Glasses of This Week's Episode of 'The Bachelor'," 22 Jan. 2019 To set the stage for her eight-piece capsule, which goes live on her website this week, the Lagosian designer created a short film in her city after dark with the help of director Arie Esiri. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Maki Oh Has the Antidote to Sleazy Silk Shirts, Straight From Lagos, Nigeria," 16 Jan. 2019 At a youth poetry competition in Washington, D.C., the crowd falls silent as three high school students from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, take the stage. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "How the Breaking Ground Poets Community Program Helps Young People Find a Voice," 9 Jan. 2019 Release: May 24, 2019 Preliminary verdict: Looks promising Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) wants to figure out why his father's mission to find extra-terrestrial life on Neptune failed, setting the stage for the main events of Ad Astra. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 Netanyahu on Monday called early elections for April, setting the stage for a three-month campaign clouded by a series of corruption investigations against the long-serving Israeli leader. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Under duress, Israel’s Netanyahu still election front-runner," 25 Dec. 2018 This victory has huge implications for future elections in the state, and also sets the stage for a national surge in legal challenges to the archaic disenfranchisement laws. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "The Midterms May Have Broken Your Heart, but There's Still Hope," 8 Nov. 2018 According to Candice Stafford-Bridge, the makeup department head for the show, Sabrina's natural beauty look sets the stage for her transformation over the first season. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 28 Oct. 2018 The clue lies in how Insider Build 18323, released Thursday evening, is defined as the release branch of Windows 10—a near-final, bug-bashing development stage. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Windows 10's April 2019 Update should be as straightforward as its name," 25 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those talks seem to have broken down, prompting the Beefeaters to stage a picket line again on January 7, and now on January 22. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Beefeaters Continue to Strike at the Tower of London," 22 Jan. 2019 As social media platforms continue to stage increasingly tangled culture wars, and personal data is siphoned up at every possible turn to feed advertising networks, Berners-Lee is rightfully dismayed that the Web is in poor health. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Tim Berners-Lee Wants a 'Magna Carta' to Save the Modern Internet. He's Way Too Late.," 8 Nov. 2018 Attached to stage the Jackson show is ballet luminary Christopher Wheeldon, who made his debut as a musical-theater director-choreographer with the 2015 Broadway production of An American in Paris. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "Michael Jackson Musical in the Works for Broadway," 19 June 2018 Mexico, meanwhile, technically will become the first nation to stage the tournament three times, having hosted in 1970 (won by Brazil) and 1986 (Argentina). Brian Straus,, "USA's Joint Bid Wins Right to Host 2026 World Cup in Overwhelming Vote," 13 June 2018 In a letter to parents, Highland High School Principal Patrick Weil acknowledged Wednesday's protests were significant, the school would not allow students to stage walkouts. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "NW Indiana students face detention, praise during walkout advocating gun reform," 14 Mar. 2018 That design sought to keep the iconic look of the stadium as much as possible, and retained the 99-year-old stadium's east grandstand, while updating Hayward Field to the level required to stage the 2021 World Outdoor Championships as scheduled. Ken Goe,, "Tinker Hatfield blasts Hayward Field design adopted by the University of Oregon," 1 June 2018 American forces were looking to stage a strike on the British stronghold of Detroit, which would necessitate travel through Delaware Indian territory. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Why the Very First Treaty Between the United States and a Native People Still Resonates Today," 25 May 2018 Outlook: Muskie Guide Service reports: bass – fair on a variety of baits in shallow water; crappie – fair to good and starting to stage close to the bank, try using jigs or minnows; all other species – slow or no reports. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Area water bodies welcome warming weather, improving prospects | The Kansas City Star," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stage


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stage

Statistics for stage

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stage

The first known use of stage was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stage



English Language Learners Definition of stage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of stage (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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)


\ ˈstāj \

Kids Definition of stage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a raised floor (as for speaking or performing)
2 : a step forward in a journey, a task, a process, or a development : phase “The plan is still in its early stages …”— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
3 : the theatrical profession or art
4 : a place where something important happens the political stage


staged; staging

Kids Definition of stage (Entry 2 of 2)

: to produce or show to others on or as if on the stage The drama club staged two plays. The schools staged a track meet.


\ ˈstāj \

Medical Definition of stage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period or step in a process, activity, or development: as
a : one of the distinguishable periods of growth and development of a plant or animal the larval stage of an insect
b : a period or phase in the course of a disease the rash stage of Lyme disease— R. H. Boyle also : the degree of involvement or severity of a disease advanced stage II or III disease (more than 10 positive lymph nodes found after axillary dissection) — M. S. Anscher et al
c : one of two or more operations performed at different times but constituting a single procedure a two-stage thoracoplasty
d : any of the four degrees indicating depth of general anesthesia
2 : the small platform of a microscope on which an object is placed for examination
staged; staging

Medical Definition of stage (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stage

Spanish Central: Translation of stage

Nglish: Translation of stage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stage

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


very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!