Definition of ladder in English:

ladder

noun

  • 1A piece of equipment consisting of a series of bars or steps between two upright lengths of wood, metal, or rope, used for climbing up or down something.

    • ‘I need a tall step ladder to change a light bulb.’
    • ‘Leaves in different parts of the canopy were accessed with ladders, climbing ropes, and a hydraulic lift, to facilitate photosynthetic measurements with hand-held instruments.’
    • ‘He had brought all the necessary tools for scaling a wall: ladders, ropes, even a sort of high platform they could wheel next to the wall.’
    • ‘Raul turned away angrily, climbing back up the ladder to middle deck.’
    • ‘As the engines stopped, the firefighters cleared my pilot to shut down and to lower the boarding ladder.’
    • ‘There are fixed ropes, ladders and even rudimentary staircases cut into the hard snow, leading to the main route being dubbed a ‘yak track’.’
    • ‘A set of wooden ladders led up to the nearest entrance to the cave system.’
    • ‘You run around climbing ladders, shimmying across ropes and running from one platform to another, collecting gems while avoiding the bad guys.’
    • ‘Resting there, miraculously, was a ladder, the rusting metal kind, like the fire escapes on apartments.’
    • ‘We climbed the old wooden ladder to the loft.’
    • ‘This leads to a series of climbs facilitated by aluminium ladders and fixed ropes.’
    • ‘Entrance for the others by means of climbing ropes or ladders over the wall would be possible, but they needed a quick exit route, and hoped to be carrying Grenwald, bound and gagged as they left.’
    • ‘Climbing wire rope ladders in a wet or dry suit requires good technique and plenty of stamina.’
    • ‘They spent more than 11 hours containing the blaze and used a turntable ladder to douse it from above.’
    • ‘The wooden ladder led the young men to an attic.’
    • ‘Vincent climbed down the rusty fire escape ladder and leapt down to the unpaved cobblestone street below.’
    • ‘And that forced me to get even higher up on the rickety ladder.’
    • ‘The hastily lowered ladder leaned at the back, looking as though it would come crashing down at any moment.’
    • ‘When your foot was on the roof, you had to transfer your weight from the ladder to the roof and then step off the ladder fully.’
    • ‘The time it takes to climb a rope or scale a ladder leaves soldiers highly vulnerable to attack.’
    1. 1.1 A series of ascending stages by which someone or something may progress.
      ‘employees on their way up the career ladder’
      • ‘Barrie Weatherall takes another step up the ladder as he and his York company receive a £10,000 Smart Micro Award.’
      • ‘They needed to prove that women were just as determined as men to ascend the corporate ladder.’
      • ‘This email was from an inspector, who I think is higher up the police ladder than an officer.’
      • ‘The idea behind the Ka was ingenious, offering the first step on the Ford ladder for many young drivers.’
      • ‘Rather than fixing a position on a hierarchical socio-economic ladder, consumerism establishes lateral connections that affirm middle-class affiliation.’
      • ‘Job loss is increasingly worse for you the higher up the skill ladder you are.’
      • ‘Murdock is taking on an expanded role of football development manager, while Wood takes his first step on the coaching ladder and will be assisted by Paul Penrice and Martin Oglanby.’
      • ‘In the mid-1990s, the city began climbing up the evolutionary ladder.’
      • ‘Muslims have begun to ascend the ladder in politics, business and the media.’
      • ‘Excluded from society, essentially cut out of her aunt's will, Lily descends the social ladder.’
      • ‘By the beginning of the twentieth century Catholic Irish Americans were clearly ascending the occupational ladder.’
      • ‘Rather than being ladders of success, our lives are more like rivers.’
      • ‘An increasing number of parents are helping their children get on the property ladder.’
      • ‘The mass media and the rest of corporate America are enthralled with professionals scaling career ladders to new heights.’
      • ‘They've followed the rules, been generously rewarded, and climbed society's ladder of success.’
      • ‘Their only chance to get a foot on the property ladder is in places like Carlow.’
      • ‘This process of climbing up the hierarchical ladder can go on indefinitely, until the member reaches a position where he or she is incompetent.’
      • ‘Often when an executive takes that last step up the ladder and becomes chairman of a company, the view from the top is strewn with things that need to be cleaned up.’
      • ‘As she climbs the corporate ladder to the top, Kate also grows to love her gentleman caller.’
      • ‘Latham has just added a few more rungs to his ladder of political opportunity.’
      hierarchy, scale, set of stages, stratification, pecking order, grading, ranking, spectrum
      View synonyms
  • 2British A vertical strip of unravelled fabric in tights or stockings.

    ‘one of Sally's stockings developed a ladder’
    • ‘In our house, a clear-out involves binning the odd pair of tights with more ladders than Bob The Builder, or removing a bunch of long-dead flowers from a vase.’
    • ‘The list is as long as a ladder in a pair of tights.’
    • ‘She's a social climber with ladders in her stockings but a good heart.’
    • ‘They had to be mended by hand or taken to one of shops in the city where a young woman repaired ladders in silk stockings using a special stand and hook.’
    • ‘By the time I've yanked on my stockings and managed to rip a ladder in them, I know it's going to be a brilliant day.’
    rip, hole, split, rent, cut, slash, slit
    View synonyms

verb

British
  • (with reference to tights or stockings) develop or cause to develop a ladder.

    with object ‘I laddered my tights as I arrived this morning’
    no object ‘the first time I put them on, one of the stockings laddered’

Origin

Old English hlǣd(d)er, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch leer and German Leiter.

Pronunciation

ladder

/ˈladə/