One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A horizontal support on a ladder for a person's foot.
- ‘He placed a foot on the first rung of the ladder on the side of the freighter and began to climb, hefting himself up onto the roof.’
- ‘He stood, his foot on the lower rungs of a ladder that led to the upper shelves, with his weight propped on his elevated knee.’
- ‘Without the Nomex gloves, required for takeoff and landing because of the fire risk, the ladder rungs and safety pole are like burning embers.’
- ‘That wouldn't buy them much time, Sydney knew, so she steeled herself and placed one foot on the first rung of the ladder.’
- ‘So the boy let his father fix the rope around his waist, and instruct him in how to climb over the edge and find the rungs of the ladder.’
- ‘Then I didn't have the strength to do anything but hook my arm through a rung and hold on while I sucked air and my lungs ached.’
- ‘I stepped out, swung around, grabbed the other side of the ladder and placed my foot on the proper rung.’
- ‘He used the advantage of the adrenaline and the upper body strength he had to pull himself up one rung.’
- ‘Upon opening the hatch we were looking down a large corrugated pipe, with rebar ladder rungs, descending vertically for thirty feet into the darkness.’
- ‘When you're young and a ladder is thrust in front of you, you don't wonder how high it is or think about the strength of its rungs; you clamber on up.’
- ‘The rungs of the ladder are sharp against her bare feet.’
- 1.1 A level in a hierarchical structure, especially a class or career structure.‘we must ensure that the low-skilled do not get trapped on the bottom rung’
level, rank, position, standing, status, station, degree, grade, stage, standard, echelon, point, mark, step, notchView synonyms
- ‘Now with a foot firmly on the lower rungs of the ladder to rockdom, it's hard not to imagine that they will do anything but ascend.’
- ‘New research by the Bank of Scotland shows that first-time buyers north of the Border are still able to get their foot on the first rung of the housing ladder.’
- ‘The arrangement is designed to allow young couples to get a foot on the first rung of the housing ladder.’
- ‘Making casual work illegal, by such devices as minimum wage laws and ludicrously restrictive safety regulations, is a complete disaster for the poor, because it destroys the first few rungs of the economic ladder.’
- ‘Firms have reduced the total number of job descriptions, stripping rungs from the job ladders that were traditionally climbed by less-skilled workers.’
2A strengthening crosspiece in the structure of a chair.
- ‘I reached down and pulled my binder up from the metal rungs on the underneath of my chair that held books.’
- ‘Kitchen chairs or stools that have rungs are especially helpful, as it can be tiring for your daughter if her feet don't reach the floor.’
- ‘In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair.’
- ‘I watch her as she pulls one of the mold-spattered kitchen chairs across the room and perches girlishly on the edge of it, her bare feet splayed over the rungs.’
- ‘Grabbing the rung of the chair he pulled him over next to the wall.’
Old English hrung (in rung (sense 2)); related to Dutch rong and German Runge.
- past participle of ring
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