One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A horizontal support on a ladder for a person's foot.
- ‘Without the Nomex gloves, required for takeoff and landing because of the fire risk, the ladder rungs and safety pole are like burning embers.’
- ‘The rungs of the ladder are sharp against her bare feet.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘That wouldn't buy them much time, Sydney knew, so she steeled herself and placed one foot on the first rung of the ladder.’
- ‘He used the advantage of the adrenaline and the upper body strength he had to pull himself up one rung.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I stepped out, swung around, grabbed the other side of the ladder and placed my foot on the proper rung.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Upon opening the hatch we were looking down a large corrugated pipe, with rebar ladder rungs, descending vertically for thirty feet into the darkness.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 A level in a hierarchical structure, especially a class or career structure.‘we must ensure that the unskilled do not get trapped on the bottom rung’
level, rank, position, standing, status, station, degree, grade, stage, standard, echelon, point, mark, step, notchView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘The arrangement is designed to allow young couples to get a foot on the first rung of the housing ladder.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘I reached down and pulled my binder up from the metal rungs on the underneath of my chair that held books.’
Old English hrung (in rung (sense 2)); related to Dutch rong and German Runge.
- past participle of ring
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