Definition of stage in English:



  • 1A point, period, or step in a process or development.

    ‘there is no need at this stage to give explicit details’
    ‘I was in the early stages of pregnancy’
    • ‘Much of the sampled bark on older trees, especially Acer rubrum, was loosely attached and in various stages of decay, much like the bark on decaying logs on ground sites.’
    • ‘She is now in the final stages of fitting out before her journey to Devonport, which is due to go ahead just before Christmas.’
    • ‘Although Whewell claimed that this pattern is repeated in the history of the sciences, he was careful to point out that the stages within the pattern often overlap.’
    • ‘A quick tour of the facility, though, shows that many of the buildings and other facilities at Burns Flat are in various stages of disrepair.’
    • ‘The argument at this point proceeds in three stages.’
    • ‘He said St Aengus School could be fenced off during the construction stages of the new building.’
    • ‘Lastly there may be a stage of exhaustion, tiredness and weakness.’
    • ‘Pottruck's yearlong journey through the stages of corporate grief has relevance and resonance for every person, no matter what his or her station.’
    • ‘One mourner said her journey through the stages of mourning was like being in a cocoon.’
    • ‘These small but continually growing and developing aspects of her authentic self become her true guides in her journey through the stages of being a woman.’
    • ‘A recent report from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry listed 16 new vaccines in the early stages of development, along with other treatments.’
    • ‘At every stage of his political life, he has had exceptionally close advisers whose judgment he respected and who revered him.’
    • ‘All stages of the re-entry went according to plan.’
    • ‘The book is perhaps best known for its elucidation of the five stages of grief people go through after the death of a friend or loved one.’
    • ‘Can the missions in the planning stages be reconciled among each other to prevent duplication of science?’
    • ‘In doing so I want to welcome this legislation, which is in the final stage of its passage through the House.’
    • ‘These are matters which may well be of relevance at a later stage of the debate.’
    • ‘The company has added an inspection step after the developing stage of the process.’
    • ‘Both have been said to boost the body's anabolic reactions at different stages of muscle building, so it might be useful to try them in combination.’
    • ‘The plan is to build Galileo in three stages involving a mixture of public and private finance.’
    phase, period, juncture, step, point, time, moment, instant, division, level
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A section of a journey or race.
      ‘the final stage of the journey is made by coach’
      • ‘Pride swelled through his body as he recalled the stages of his journey, and he felt a great love for the one who had guided him.’
      • ‘Al Eile comes up in the final stages of the race to edge out Cheltenham winner Inglis Drever.’
      • ‘The fear factor is likely to dominate the race in its final stage.’
      • ‘The final two stages of the tour - the circuit race and road race - were won in field sprints.’
      • ‘Kadarann stretched clear in the final stages to score by eight lengths, with Lady Cricket - who made mistakes - a further four lengths back in third.’
      • ‘The final stage of our journey along the Lower Zambesi was sheer heaven.’
      • ‘They held on in the face of desperate Longford pressure and as the game entered its final stages they looked likely winners.’
      • ‘Whenever a driver has conducted a race simulation test, stringing together dozens of laps without changing tyres, they begin to get a feel for how the car might handle during the closing stages of a grand prix.’
      • ‘Timmy Murphy cleverly switches the horse to the inside rail in the final stages of the race and then wins a battle with Made In Japan between the last two fences.’
      • ‘It was the final stage of the journey and despite his tough Brooklyn upbringing he was tense and nervous.’
      • ‘Ill-prepared, with no sun-cream and little water, we set off across the gently inclined shoulder linking us to the final stages of our Lugnaquilla ascent.’
      • ‘During the final stages of his journey, Nicholas swaps notes with Simon Osborne, the British kayaker who circumnavigated Britain to raise money for charity in memory of his brother Mark.’
      • ‘The movie begins with a voiceover explaining the volume of this traffic; the stages of the journey are shown on a map, a little like the refugee trail in the opening sequence of Casablanca.’
      • ‘From there they are taken to join other young orphans in Tsavo East national park for the second stage of their journey back into the wild.’
      • ‘So often in the past the Bath man has had the speed but lacked the finishing power in the final stages of the race, but that fault finally appears to have been set aside.’
      • ‘In the final stages both Audi crews raced for tenths of a second.’
      • ‘He and his fiancée want to spend as much of that time together as possible, but immigration officials are blocking their attempts to be united along various stages of the journey.’
      • ‘We hurried into the next car for the last stage of our journey up the mountain.’
      • ‘It's been great to talk to people who have had the same surgeon I'll have, and it's interesting to read about people at different stages of their journey.’
      • ‘Each side will field three players in singles games, with the winning teams from each of four sections going through to the semi - finals and final stages on Wednesday.’
      part, section, portion, stretch, phase
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Each of two or more sections of a rocket or spacecraft that have their own engines and are jettisoned in turn when their propellant is exhausted.
      • ‘A jammed valve in the control system of the second stage of the launch vehicle led to the failure.’
      • ‘Eventually the Atlas and R - 7 each received more powerful engines and larger upper stages.’
      • ‘These, explained Durda, were the last remnants of the flame emanating from the lower stages of the Black Brant rocket, now tumbling away from the payload.’
      • ‘It was due to make a circuit of Earth before separating from the second stage of the rocket 90 minutes after launch.’
      • ‘It flies out to Mars with its two methane/oxygen driven rocket propulsion stages unfueled.’
      • ‘The problem took place as the first stage of the bright red rocket burned out.’
      • ‘Rocket fuels and explosive devices to separate the rocket's stages in flight or to destroy the craft if it veers off course are loaded into the rocket.’
      • ‘For example, the agency often uses Delta II launch vehicles, and they let the expended second stages of these rockets just drop from the sky.’
      • ‘Everything on board Rokot went as planned, but the second and third stages of the engines failed to ignite, meaning the satellite simply didn't have the necessary power behind it to reach orbit.’
      • ‘Spaceports usually notify pilots and ship captains of the regions of the ocean that will be off-limits during a launch because rocket stages or debris could fall there.’
      • ‘The Saturn S-IVB third stages were not designed to carry fuel in orbit for more than six hours and would require extensive modification.’
      • ‘Within nine minutes, he was in orbit and the various stages of the rocket had peeled off, prompting a round of applause among the engineers and technicians on hand to watch.’
      • ‘The process of attaching the stages of a rocket to one another is known as integration, and it can be done in one of two ways - vertically and horizontally.’
      • ‘Both stages use parachutes and airbags for landing.’
      • ‘SpaceX is mitigating this risk by using only two stages with one engine in each stage, as well as dual redundant avionics.’
      • ‘The launch vehicle employed comprised three stages, the first stage being the highly successful Redstone rocket.’
      • ‘On either side would be two smaller booster stages, each with two F - 1A engines.’
      • ‘Russian and European engineers will work together to develop reusable liquid engines, reusable liquid stages and experimental vehicles.’
      • ‘The first, second, and third stages of the Soyuz launch vehicle fired and separated by 11 minutes into the rocket's flight.’
      • ‘Three of the four stages exhausted their solid propellants through a single adjustable nozzle which guided the missile along its flight path.’
    3. 1.3Electronics with modifier A specified part of a circuit, typically one consisting of a single amplifying transistor or valve with the associated equipment.
      ‘a series resistance between the headphones and the output stage’
      • ‘Both the wafer stage and reticle stage float on air bearings and move with linear motors.’
      • ‘Shipley is also working on replacing the conventional electroless and electrolytic copper deposition stages with a single electroless copper stage.’
      • ‘In one embodiment, the summing node is coupled to a summing circuit disposed between two gain stages of an error amplifier in the first circuit.’
      • ‘Such mode changes may, for example, entail switching amplifier stages in and out of an amplification signal path.’
      • ‘Many laser systems consist of an oscillator followed by one or more amplifier stages.’
  • 2A raised floor or platform, typically in a theatre, on which actors, entertainers, or speakers perform.

    ‘there are only two characters on stage’
    • ‘He says he has always loved singing, and discovered his talent when he performed on stage during a family holiday in Turkey.’
    • ‘One can perform on stage after six months and make a living with the art.’
    • ‘A properly trained voice is an asset to any actor, especially to those who perform on stage.’
    • ‘Astrella Celeste has been performing on stage with her father from a young age and in her own right.’
    • ‘Each year of the music week the best of talent come on stage to perform, and some greats of Irish music always show up.’
    • ‘Dozens of musicians, singers, dancers and actors performed on two stages in the park, while stalls of food, arts and crafts were set up to tempt passers-by.’
    • ‘Just me on stage performing tricks and illusions and talking about them, their history and a little bit about how they work.’
    • ‘Wherever and whenever you have an opportunity to get on stage and perform, take it.’
    • ‘An actor gets on stage and performs and you have a moment of true inspiration.’
    • ‘Thereafter, it was only a question of arranging funds and training the children to perform on stage.’
    • ‘He said he could not say whether he preferred teaching or performing on stage.’
    • ‘Behind the stage there was a passageway, and halfway down it a door leading under the stage to the orchestra pit.’
    • ‘Later, she was heard asking everyone to explain where she went wrong while performing on stage.’
    • ‘The best thing about my job is performing on stage - it is the ultimate buzz and I wish that everyone could experience it.’
    • ‘He was a classical singer and even when it was not customary for people of the cloth to perform on stage, he did so with aplomb.’
    • ‘Contrary to popular belief, Houdini is not thought to have died on stage while performing his Water Torture Cell escape.’
    • ‘Such is his size that he performs on stage seated on a specially constructed giant frame.’
    • ‘When he is not performing on stage, Paul is busy working with the students of Carlow Stage School.’
    • ‘Ms Carey will perform the stunt on stage at the Hull New Theatre during the run, from tonight until Saturday.’
    • ‘It is a brilliant feeling to get up on stage and perform in front of thousands of people.’
    platform, dais, stand, grandstand, staging, apron, rostrum, podium, soapbox, stump
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1the stage The acting or theatrical profession.
      ‘I've always wanted to go on the stage’
      • ‘Naomi has three she left behind when she deserted her husband to go on the stage.’
      • ‘Her father was very caring but did not want his daughter to go on the stage.’
      • ‘I might add though, that I feel rejuvenated as a result of being back on the stage.’
      • ‘But I bet they could make even the phonebook sound as if it were written for the stage.’
      • ‘A robust player, he devoted his long life to keeping Shakespeare on the stage.’
      • ‘Sarah, like Casaubon's aunt Julia, had run away from her family's household to go on the stage.’
      • ‘She also likes to write for the stage and has written a one act play.’
      • ‘Threats by an absent father that he would annihilate his wife if she put their daughter on the stage proved no deterrent.’
      • ‘Would it be permissible for me to do a dramatic adaptation of one of your stories for the stage for a summer production for charity?’
      • ‘Perhaps it is simply because the pulpit and the stage have so much in common.’
      • ‘How do you adapt George Orwell's famous memoir of the Spanish civil war for the stage?’
      • ‘He was a born actor, like many of those who graced the stage when amateur drama was at its peak.’
      • ‘Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, and she has written widely for stage and television.’
      • ‘Strange, then, that he should all but abandon poetry in his twenties, and concentrate his efforts on writing for the stage.’
      • ‘If you want to put your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington, send her to Bradford.’
      • ‘Toyah Willcox returns to the stage to play Calamity, a role made famous on the Hollywood screen by Doris Day.’
      • ‘The son of Thomas Arne, he was brought up by his aunt, the actress Mrs Cibber, who introduced him to the stage.’
      • ‘Writing was a consistent part of Launder's career and he wrote for the stage and radio, as well as for cinema.’
      • ‘Kathleen is still actively involved in the group but does not go on the stage.’
      • ‘The superstar of the stage is back again with his latest collection of digs at society.’
      theatre, the theatre, drama, dramatics, dramatic art, show business, the play, the footlights
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2in singular A scene of action or forum of debate, especially in a particular political context.
      ‘Britain is playing a leading role on the international stage’
      • ‘Ministers now come and go, booed off the political stage by an impatient media if they fail to keep the pack amused.’
      • ‘Is this the man we want advocating for this country, and representing this country on an international stage?’
      • ‘The reform of civil service pensions put civil servants at the centre of the political stage recently.’
      • ‘On the political and international stage, events were moving apace on Wednesday.’
      • ‘That assertion represents the goal for all three men to perform on a larger political stage.’
      • ‘All nations, it seems, are desperate to compete at the highest level on the world stage.’
      • ‘So who precisely is deflecting public perception away from internal problems onto the international stage?’
      • ‘Frank brought this country onto the world stage in boxing after several decades in the wilderness.’
      • ‘It is also a leading player on the international stage with operations in 24 countries.’
      • ‘William Hague really did pave the way for his return to the political stage at his packed out event on his book William Pitt the Younger.’
      • ‘The potential of using this psychological ground as part of a stage for political action has been known for some time.’
      • ‘His approach to diplomacy will decide the nation's position on the world stage for a long time to come.’
      • ‘At least you can sleep at night regardless of sudden shocks on the global economic and political stage.’
      • ‘On the wider political stage, doctors should demand a level playing field.’
      • ‘Mr Nolan is no stranger to the political stage, having run in both the local and general elections in the past.’
      • ‘We needed an identity that would last and one that would see us playing on a world stage.’
      • ‘They also question the idea that the state is the main actor on the world political stage, although they do not deny that it is important.’
      • ‘Perhaps he just wished to feed an ego that sought a central place on the world stage.’
      • ‘But this was a scene playing on the international stage, for the world to behold.’
      • ‘Huntington welterweight Glenn Banks is set to grace the international stage when he flies to Copenhagen at the end of the month.’
      scene, setting
      View synonyms
  • 3A floor or level of a building or structure.

    ‘the upper stage was added in the 17th century’
    • ‘On the Waggrakine property of Gary and Janella Patience, Steve conducted ten days of clinics and workshops for local riders, catering to all levels and stages of ability.’
    • ‘Each stage or level contains three modes, which add a little more replay value to the game but not much.’
    • ‘The proposed stages to the management structure of the estate will be considered at a meeting of the council's cabinet on Wednesday.’
    • ‘Steeply banked, it rises up about five or six floors, with the stage and bottom floor sunk under the ground.’
    • ‘These are contrasted with the two and three level stages, where fighters can be thrown from incredible heights through objects, walls or ledges to the ground below.’
    • ‘The curriculum sets out the skills and concepts that each student should know at a certain stage or level.’
    • ‘There are over 20 missions, with a few unlockable stages and alterable difficult levels.’
    • ‘For the most part, levels are approached in a linear fashion although you do have some leeway in choosing which stages of every level you want to tackle thanks to the overhead map.’
    • ‘Through my years of playing the game of pool, I have grown and evolved through many different stages and levels of the game.’
    • ‘The next stage in this federal structure would be politics at a state level.’
    • ‘Each level consists of multiple stages, which the player must infiltrate.’
    • ‘The grandiosity of its concept encouraged several rulers to continue adding to the structure and adding further stages.’
    1. 3.1 (on a microscope) a raised and usually movable plate on which a slide or object is placed for examination.
      • ‘The specimen was placed on the stage of a light microscope with the magnification set to x100.’
      • ‘When placed on the microscope stage, the bottom of the Petri dish was superimposed on this circle.’
  • 4Geology
    (in chronostratigraphy) a range of strata corresponding to an age in time, forming a subdivision of a series.

    ‘the Oxfordian stage’
    • ‘The base of the system and the subdivision into six stages was originally recognized in the marine facies of the Southern Alps.’
    • ‘In the Canaries, the lavas are much more compositionally varied in each of these stages, ranging from tholeiitic basalts to phonolites and trachytes.’
    • ‘The boundaries and subdivision of the Ladinian stage are widely debated.’
    • ‘Ross et al. subdivided the overlying Ordovician Ibexian Series into four stages, the lowest of which is the Skullrockian Stage.’
    • ‘If these fluctuations are gradual and restricted, then the boundaries of the Cambrian stages and series cannot be isochronous levels at a global scale.’
    1. 4.1 (in palaeoclimatology) a period of time marked by a characteristic climate.
      ‘the Boreal stage’
      • ‘Paleontologists often refer to faunal stages rather than geologic Periods.’
      • ‘A Devonian CRM is interpreted to be related to hydrothermal fluids associated with Devonian volcanic rocks or to fluids triggered by late stages of the Caledonian orogeny.’
      • ‘Stage 2 includes deposition of the latest Neoproterozoic Lake Maurice and Ungoolya Groups, which predate and span the initial stages of the Petermann Orogeny.’
      • ‘Silt and varved clay, probably deposited during the last stages of Pleistocene glaciation, cover the entire floor.’
      • ‘It is also evident that mudstone drapes formed during slack water stages at specific periods, whereas fine-sandstone drapes were formed in other periods.’
  • 5historical A stagecoach.

    • ‘A four horse teem mail stage operated over this route daily, except Sunday, going west one day and returning eastward the following day.’
    • ‘Besides this there were passengers coming in on the stage and mail from Silver Reef and Pioche.’


[with object]
  • 1Present a performance of (a play or other show)

    ‘the show is being staged at the Grand Opera House in Belfast’
    • ‘Although they stage the same play, the performance is different each night.’
    • ‘The group stages its own shows and some members perform in the Little Theatre's adult productions.’
    • ‘On Sunday, July 21, Steve Smith is staging another motor show in the town and has asked if we can put on a special farmers market down Wheelgate.’
    • ‘A group of students are staging a fund-raising show, inspired by stories about local hospices in the Journal.’
    • ‘A group of young carers have staged a moving play showing the reality of their duties looking after relatives at home.’
    • ‘Two Swindon dancers, Faye Pound and Kelly Sutton, are fulfilling a dream by staging their own show.’
    • ‘Tickets will cost Rs.20 and the proceeds collected will go entirely to the troupe staging the play.’
    • ‘Torrential rain over the past fortnight made staging the show even more difficult than usual, said Mr Cothliff, who has run the event for the past five years.’
    • ‘Adult performers will be staging a one-act play as part of the drama night in December.’
    • ‘The year 1935 was called the ‘Year of Nora’ with drama troupes in Shanghai followed by troupes in other parts of the country, staging the play on a large scale.’
    • ‘But staging a play based on folklore in a traditional medium is a novel experiment.’
    • ‘In a couple of days, they will be staging a play that they have conceived.’
    • ‘The agreement of English Heritage would also be needed for the site around the abbey to be used again for staging the plays.’
    • ‘The School plans to take the concept forward by staging other plays which can not only be an integral part of the teaching strategy but also broaden the horizon of the students.’
    • ‘After finding a script featuring the story of a tour guide, resourceful student Lucy Pearman hit on the idea of staging her play in an open top bus.’
    • ‘Carmel also points out that as usual there will be the possibility of staging the play a third night, such is the demand for tickets.’
    • ‘He said he could make use of his professional health and safety expertise to deal with that aspect of staging the plays.’
    • ‘This modern masterpiece has been staged by Chinese dramatic groups many times and Chinese audiences are already familiar with it.’
    • ‘For Joan D' Mello, Assistant Director of Aliyavar, staging the play was a dream come true.’
    • ‘Resident Reg Hainsworth had acquired a cine camera and was staging a show of the past year in Ingleton which proved so popular that all chairs were taken long before the film started.’
    put on, put before the public, present, produce, mount, direct
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Organize and participate in (a public event)
      ‘UDF supporters staged a demonstration in Sofia’
      • ‘Fresh impetus has been given to staging a world championship sports event in South Lakeland after organisers were about to ‘throw in the towel.’’
      • ‘To this end a series of evening classes and weekend workshops is planned to complement the concerts and events being staged.’
      • ‘And they will have to show they are encouraging state school pupils to consider applying, through staging events such as summer schools and master classes.’
      • ‘The Jazz in the Foyer concerts are new monthly musical events being staged in the Foyer Bar.’
      • ‘In France and Italy, pioneering events were staged on public roads from city to city.’
      • ‘Air traffic controllers threatened to stage a partial strike if their demands were not considered.’
      • ‘Most events proved extremely popular as organisers succeeded in staging a festival, which appealed to the ordinary person, rather than the high-brow artistic follower.’
      • ‘Supporters of the men staged an impromptu protest outside Glasgow City Chambers which was attended by about 200 people.’
      • ‘People from Beloit and surrounding regions also staged a parade as the initial organized event of the day.’
      • ‘Outdoor events and processions were staged on a large scale, and were as dramatic and successful as the indoor ceremonies and entertainments.’
      • ‘However, campaigning parents have launched a petition to save Blackfield Infant School and are staging a public meeting on the site next Tuesday at 7.30 pm.’
      • ‘He also thanked the venues for hosting the events and the rest of the committee members for their work in organising and staging the event.’
      • ‘The new service is already in talks with several high profile public sector organisations about staging large-scale forums.’
      • ‘This Sunday, Ilkley Harriers are staging their premier event - the Ilkley Moor Fell Race over 5.5 miles with 1,150 ft of climb.’
      • ‘The event was staged by concert organisers, Young Voices.’
      • ‘While efforts for staging the event are being reviewed, training for potential participants has started at the four regional centres across the country.’
      • ‘As a result they are constantly staging festivals and events: international tennis tournaments, beach volleyball championships in the summer, the vintage car auction.’
      • ‘Other South African cities only had one venue for staging exhibitions or international events of a high standard.’
      • ‘The marchers will then go down Alice Lane where they will stop at the corner of 5th Street to be addressed by speakers from the organisations staging the protests.’
      • ‘Several readers have contacted the paper this week about plans to stage various events to support the campaign.’
      organize, arrange, make arrangements for, coordinate, lay on, put together, fix up, get together
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Cause (something dramatic or unexpected) to happen.
      ‘the President's attempt to stage a comeback’
      ‘the dollar staged a partial recovery’
      • ‘Whenever I watch England when they're in a leading position, the possibility of their opponents staging an unexpected comeback is always at the back of my mind.’
      • ‘After lying uncared and unattended to for quite some, the palace, which itself is the seat of history and heritage of the land, is staging a comeback into mainstream life.’
      • ‘The word ‘hunk’, which was slipping from everyday usage, staged a valiant comeback.’
      • ‘Traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda are staging a comeback and getting kudos for their holistic approach to ailments.’
      • ‘The singer's career was then down in the dumps and the award helped him stage a sensational comeback.’
      • ‘Annaghdown staged a comeback in the second-half and had a goal in the first minute.’
      • ‘Several ethnic dishes such as ‘chiratta puttu’ and ‘kappa puttu’ are also staging a come-back.’
      • ‘Kilcotton now staged a dramatic recovery, scoring three excellent points from three different players.’
      • ‘By mid-August he is ready to stage a dramatic comeback and say a proper goodbye to the game.’
      • ‘Many spectators left the Tarrawingee oval, believing that Chiltern had won, before Greta staged a dramatic comeback.’
      • ‘This could be let down by the fact that he hasn't had a big hit record for years, and he might be too frail to stage such a comeback.’
      • ‘Eight days later, a Special Ops team (read, Knights in Shining Armor) stages a dramatic midnight rescue.’
      • ‘Once on the edge of extinction, the bitterns have staged an amazing comeback nationally, with five times as many nests as in 1997.’
      • ‘Trailing by ten points with less than ten minutes left, Malton staged a dramatic comeback to snatch the win.’
      • ‘They're listening intently or with anger to a master of sound bytes who staged a dramatic comeback.’
      • ‘However, they turned it up to the next level, staging a valiant comeback attempt, only to fall short, losing 6-4.’
      • ‘But Widnes staged a dramatic second-half recovery and grabbed their opening try in the 47th minute.’
      • ‘Fresh from prison, he's also staging an unexpected comeback, one that's surprising the most seasoned observers.’
      • ‘The band plans to stage a comeback after she delivers the baby.’
      • ‘Mythological and historical dramas are staging a comeback.’
  • 2North American Style or furnish (a property for sale) in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.

    ‘once we've staged the house, we bring in our photographer’
  • 3Medicine
    Diagnose or classify (a disease or patient) as having reached a particular stage in the expected progression of the disease.

    ‘cancer of the prostate is staged by the way it feels on rectal exam’
    • ‘Thomas and Patocskai may see no advantage in staging disease in patients with melanoma, but theirs is a minority view worldwide.’
    • ‘Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are undertaken to stage the disease accurately.’
    • ‘Microscopic type of cancer, distribution in the stomach, and involvement of lymph nodes all contribute to staging the disease and estimating survival.’
    • ‘It is used in the initial diagnosis, in staging the patient, and in some therapies.’
    • ‘The extent of fibrosis is the determining factor in staging the disease and is assessed with a liver biopsy.’


  • hold the stage

    • Dominate a scene of action or forum of debate.

      ‘the notion of treatment by opposites has held the stage for too long’
      • ‘Eclipsed by rival works of greater originality, specifically those of Birtwistle, Hamilton's operas failed in the longer term to hold the stage, despite the quantity of fine music they undoubtedly contain.’
      • ‘They were self-effacing enough to let the singer shine while weaving complicated counterpoints behind her lead, but quite capable of holding the stage on their own when it came time to.’
      • ‘Waterford holds the stage in the southern half of the country this weekend with the final of the Aer Rianta Cork Airport Munster Oaks tomorrow night.’
      • ‘Luhrmann's wife and constant collaborator, the designer Catherine Martin, has given it majestic sets and striking, 1950s-style costumes that would hold the stage of any opera house in the world.’
      • ‘Diana Quick holds the stage as the formidable Mrs Clandon and starts, to my eyes anyway, as a decent, solid figure, easily imagined at a suffragette demonstration - her place in world carved out by her own determined efforts.’
      • ‘Through that experience, I learned there was a special set of skills required for a dancer to be able to hold the stage alone.’
      • ‘Heng holds the stage effortlessly, though in the first act he is sometimes hard to hear.’
      • ‘She held the stage like few solo singers can with her spellbinding vocals and her guitar work which combined rhythm and lead work.’
      • ‘These fresh-faced kids held the stage without flashy gimmickry, histrionics or rock star poses, relying instead on their songs and musicianship to do their talking for them.’
      • ‘Tebaldi held the stage for a quarter of a century, from a 1946 Toscanini audition at La Scala to a Met farewell in 1973, when she was 54.’
  • set the stage for

    • Prepare the conditions for (the occurrence or beginning of something)

      ‘these churchmen helped to set the stage for popular reform’
      • ‘These early beginnings set the stage for more recent innovations in the field.’
      • ‘It has set the stage for yet more strikes and marches, despite his promised amendments to two of the law's most controversial clauses.’
      • ‘Diplomats say they expect no breakthrough but hope to set the stage for later talks.’
      • ‘More people said they expect improved conditions six months from now, setting the stage for stronger spending.’
      • ‘The Nature study sets the stage for two new projects beginning this summer that will attempt to probe characteristics of hurricanes.’
      • ‘In another, Cabot has skillfully set the stage for a new beginning that promises even more to come.’
      • ‘Hsieh drove in the tying run with the third single to force a 3-all tie, setting the stage for yet another late-game drama.’
      • ‘The first spoonful of warm rhubarb crisp or mouthful of rhubarb pie is the most special, setting the stage for more rhubarb treats to follow.’
      • ‘Every day he calls his girlfriend from the same phone booth at the same time and in doing so, has set the stage for, in action movie terms, the worst day of his life.’
      • ‘New technology allows us to look at the landscape in a new way, and the techniques we are learning today are setting the stage for more dramatic developments in the near future.’
  • stage left (or right)

    • On the left (or right) side of a stage from the point of view of a performer facing the audience.

      as adverb ‘a woman entered stage left’
      as noun ‘a spaceman wanders in from stage right’
      • ‘Enter stage right, Karin Stoiber, 60 years of age, in a dark, well-cut suit or dirndl, the traditional Bavarian dress, and sensible shoes.’
      • ‘And to the side - stage left - was Jackson, who was watching with greater interest, but without joining in.’
      • ‘They shake hands and exit side by side stage left, their soldiers forming one column to exit.’
      • ‘A violinist enters stage right and takes his seat.’
      • ‘Deuterium Boy and Helium Girl walk on from stage right to more enthusiastic audience applause.’
      • ‘However, in true pantomime style, Rob Seib entered stage right and stole the show in dramatic fashion with two late tries.’
      • ‘A screen on stage left allowed the audience to get a first hand look at how Jeff flawlessly handled the turntables.’
      • ‘I entered from stage right and had a moment or two after the curtain came up before I had to take that first step onto the boards.’
      • ‘Enter stage right to perform in Powerhouse Poetry, at Calgary's Big Secret Theatre at 8 p.m. on July 19.’
      • ‘The stage is bare except for an image of a god at stage left (the audience's right).’


Middle English (denoting a floor of a building, platform, or stopping place): shortening of Old French estage ‘dwelling’, based on Latin stare ‘to stand’. Current senses of the verb date from the early 17th century.