From Old English hlǣder, from Proto-Germanic *hlaidriz (compare West Frisian ljedder, Dutch leer, German Leiter), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱleytro (compare Old Irish clithar 'hedge', Umbrian [script?] (kletram) 'stretcher'), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (“to lean”). More at lean, related to lid.
ladder (plural ladders)
- A frame, usually portable, of wood, metal, or rope, used for ascent and descent, consisting of two side pieces to which are fastened rungs: cross strips or rounds acting as steps.
- (figuratively) The hierarchy or ranking system within an organization, e.g. the corporate ladder.
2011 January 8, Paul Fletcher, “Stevenage 3 - 1 Newcastle”, BBC:
- Newcastle had won both their previous fixtures in 2011 but were terribly disappointing at Broadhall Way against opponents 73 places below them in the footballing ladder.
- (chiefly UK) A length of unravelled fabric in a knitted garment, especially in nylon stockings; a run.
- In the game of go, a sequence of moves following a zigzag pattern and ultimately leading to the capture of the attacked stones.
- For stockings touted as resistant to ladders, the phrase “ladder resist” is used in the UK. The American equivalent is “run resistant”.
- (firefighting) To ascend a building or wall using a ladder.
- (of a knitted garment) To develop a ladder as a result of a broken thread.