From Middle English staire, stayre, stayer, steir, steyre, steyer, from Old English stǣġer (“stair, staircase”), from Proto-Germanic *staigriz (“stairs, scaffolding”), from Proto-Indo-European *steygʰ- (“to walk, proceed, march, climb”). Cognate with Dutch steiger (“a stair, step, wharf, pier, scaffolding”), Middle Low German steiger, steir (“scaffolding”), German Low German Steiger (“a scaffold; trestle”). Related to Old English āstǣġan (“to ascend, go up, embark”), Old English stīġan (“to go, move, reach; ascend, mount, go up, spring up, rise; scale”), German Stiege (“a flight of stairs”). More at sty.
- (General American) IPA(key): /stɛəɹ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /stɛə/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)
- Homophone: stare
stair (plural stairs)
- Stairs and stair are used to refer to a single staircase, mostly interchangeably in the UK.
Forms with the definite article