From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Storey


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English story, via Medieval Latin historia (narrative, illustraton, frieze) from Ancient Greek ἱστορίᾱ (historíā, learning through research). The current sense arose from narrative friezes on upper levels of medieval buildings, esp. churches.

An alternative etymology derives Middle English story from Old French *estoree (a thing built, building), from estoree (built), feminine past participle of estorer (to build), from Latin instaurare (to construct, build, erect), but this seems unlikely since historia already had the meaning "storey of a building" in Anglo-Latin.[1]



storey (plural storeys or (obsolete) stories)

  1. A floor or level of a building or ship.
    Synonyms: floor, level
    Coordinate term: deck
    For superstitious reasons, many buildings number their 13th storey as 14, bypassing 13 entirely.
    a multi-storey car park
    • 1798, James Denholm, The History of the City of Glasgow and Suburbs: Compiled from Authentic Records and Other Respectable Authorities. [], 2nd edition, Glasgow: [] R. Chapman, and Stewart and Meikle, page 112:
      It was re-built in the year 1659, and conſiſts of two ſtories of aſhler work.—The loweſt, or ground flat, on each ſide of the main gate, is occupied by ſhops, and in the ſecond ſtorey, a range of large windows, with triangular pediments, give light to the Hall.
    • 1805, George Douglass, The Art of Drawing in Perspective, from Mathematical Principles; [], Edinburgh: [] Mundell and Son, and John Anderson, []; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, and T. Ostell, [], page 66:
      Let the ſtreet be 100 feet in breadth, from front to front; ſunk ſtorey, from front to paliſade, 10 feet; breadth of pavement, 8 feet; the height of the houſe 2 ſtories, 15 feet each, from floor to floor; []
    • 1825, W. S., “Plan for Extinguishing Fire & Protecting Buildings”, in The Glasgow Mechanics’ Magazine; and Annals of Philosophy, volume II, Glasgow: W R. M‘Phun, [], page 277, column 1:
      Each of the succeeding stories should be furnished in the same manner, with the platforms directly above one another, to afford protection against loose materials falling upon the man at the pump. If the water is wanted in the second storey, open the ejection pipe and cock below, shut the cock above, and direct the ejection pipe to where it is wanted.
  2. (typography) A vertical level in certain letters, such as a and g.
    The IPA symbol for a voiced velar stop is the single-storey , not the double-storey .
  3. (obsolete) A building; an edifice.

Usage notes[edit]

The terms floor, level, or deck are used in a similar way, except that it is usual to talk of a “14-storey building”, but “the 14th floor”. The floor at ground or street level is called the ground floor in many places. In some of those places, the floor immediately above (e.g., the upper floor of a two-storey building) is called “the first floor”. In other places, the floor just above ground floor is called “the second floor”, and “first floor” is a synonym for “ground floor”.

The words storey and floor exclude levels of the building that are not covered by a roof, such as the terrace on the top roof of many buildings. They also often exclude basements and most attics.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “storey”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.