What does ladder mean?

Definitions for ladder
ˈlæd ərlad·der

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ladder.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. laddernoun

    steps consisting of two parallel members connected by rungs; for climbing up or down

  2. laddernoun

    ascending stages by which somebody or something can progress

    "he climbed the career ladder"

  3. run, ladder, ravelverb

    a row of unravelled stitches

    "she got a run in her stocking"

  4. ladder, runverb

    come unraveled or undone as if by snagging

    "Her nylons were running"


  1. Laddernoun

    That which resembles a ladder in form or use; hence, that by means of which one attains to eminence; as, to climb the corporate ladder.


  1. laddernoun

    A frame usually portable, of wood, metal, or rope, for ascent and descent, consisting of two side pieces to which are fastened cross strips or rounds forming steps.

  2. laddernoun

    That which resembles a ladder in form or use; hence, that by means of which one attains to eminence, e.g. the corporate ladder.

  3. laddernoun

    length of unravelled fabric in a knitted garment, especially in nylon stockings

  4. laddernoun

    In the game of go, a sequence of moves following a zigzag pattern and ultimately leading to the capture of the attacked stones.

  5. ladderverb

    To ascend a building or wall using a ladder.

  6. ladderverb

    To develop a ladder as a result of a broken thread

  7. Etymology: hlæder, from hlaidriz (compare West Frisian ljedder, Dutch leer, German Leiter), from ḱleytro (compare Old Irish clithar 'hedge', Umbrian 'stretcher'), from ḱley-. More at lean, related to lid.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. LADDERnoun

    Etymology: hladre , Saxon.

    Whose compost is rotten, and carried in time,
    And spread as it should be, thrift’s ladder may clime. Thomas Tusser.

    Now streets grow throng’d, and busy as by day,
    Some run for buckets to the hallow’d quire;
    Some cut the pipes, and some the engines play,
    And some more bold mount ladders to the fire. Dryden.

    I saw a stage erected about a foot and a half from the ground, capable of holding four of the inhabitants with two or three ladders to mount it. Gulliver’s Travels.

    Easy in words thy stile, in sense sublime;
    ’Tis like the ladder in the patriarch’s dream,
    Its foot on earth; its height above the skies. Matthew Prior.

    Then took she help to her of a servant near about her husband, whom she knew to be of a hasty ambition; and such a one, who wanting true sufficiency to raise him, would make a ladder of any mischief. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    I must climb her window,
    The ladder made of cords. William Shakespeare, Two Gent. of Verona.

    Northumberland, thou ladder, by the which
    My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne. William Shakespeare.

    Lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
    Whereto the climber upward turns his face. William Shakespeare.

    Endow’d with all these accomplishments, we leave him in the full career of success, mounting fast towards the top of the ladder ecclesiastical, which he hath a fair probability to reach. Jonathan Swift.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ladderverb

    a frame usually portable, of wood, metal, or rope, for ascent and descent, consisting of two side pieces to which are fastened cross strips or rounds forming steps

  2. Ladderverb

    that which resembles a ladder in form or use; hence, that by means of which one attains to eminence

  3. Etymology: [OE. laddre, AS. hlder, hldder; akin to OFries. hladder, OHG. leitara, G. leiter, and from the root of E. lean, v. 40. See Lean, v. i., and cf. Climax.]


  1. Ladder

    A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps. There are two types: rigid ladders that can be leaned against a vertical surface such as a wall, and rope ladders that are hung from the top. The vertical members of a rigid ladder are called stringers or rails or stiles. Rigid ladders are usually portable, but some types are permanently fixed to buildings. They are commonly made of metal, wood, or fibreglass, but they have been known to be made of tough plastic.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ladder

    lad′ėr, n. a frame made with steps placed between two upright pieces, by which one may ascend a building, &c.: anything by which one ascends: a gradual rise. [A.S. hlǽder; Ger. leiter.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. ladder

    The accommodation ladder is a sort of light staircase occasionally fixed on the gangway. It is furnished with rails and man-ropes; the lower end of it is kept at a proper distance from the ship's side by iron bars or braces to render it more convenient. (See GANGWAY.)--Forecastle-ladder and hold-ladder, for getting into or out of those parts of a ship.--Jacob's ladder, abaft top-gallant masts, where no ratlines are provided.--Quarter or stern ladders. Two ladders of rope, suspended from the right and left side of a ship's stern, whereby to get into the boats which are moored astern.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ladder' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3656

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ladder' in Nouns Frequency: #2238

Anagrams for ladder »

  1. larded

  2. raddle

How to pronounce ladder?

How to say ladder in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ladder in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ladder in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of ladder in a Sentence

  1. Buzz Aldrin:

    I then got in position to come down ... came down the ladder, and jumped off, being careful not to lock the door behind me.

  2. Paul Offit:

    You let the the first people who volunteer to get these vaccines be older adults, and then middle aged adults, and then we work our way down the age ladder, somebody may ask,' Gee, why don't you do them simultaneously ?' Well, there's not that bandwidth. You just can't do too many trials simultaneously.

  3. Steve Nash:

    The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much -- visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes.

  4. Shawn Evans:

    His feet were on the ladder. The ladder could have slipped; he could have hung himself.

  5. Vladimir Putin.For Heraskevych:

    I've just been trying to work in my area, in sports, everything feels so far away. Your whole life you try to achieve something and you go step by step, but this ladder is broken now and now your whole life goes in a different direction.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ladder

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    a scar where the umbilical cord was attached
    • A. arbalist
    • B. omphalos
    • C. schlockmeister
    • D. chin-wag

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