—n. 1. a single step or degree in a process; a particular phase, period, position, etc., in a process, development, or series.
2. a raised platform or floor, as for speakers, performers, etc.
3. Theat. a. the platform on which the actors perform in a theater.
b. this platform with all the parts of the theater and all the apparatus back of the proscenium.
4. the stage,the theater, esp. acting, as a profession: He plans to make the stage his career. 5. Motion Pictures.See sound stage. 6. the scene of any action.
7. a stagecoach.
8. a place of rest on a journey; a regular stopping place of a stagecoach or the like, for the change of horses, mules, etc.
9. the distance between two places of rest on a journey; each of the portions of a journey.
10. a portion or period of a course of action, of life, etc.: the adolescent stage of human development. 11. Entomol. a. any one of the major time periods in the development of an insect, as the embryonic, larval, pupal, and imaginal stages.
b. Also called stadium. any one of the periods of larval growth between molts.
12. Econ.,Sociol.a major phase of the economic or sociological life of human beings or society: the patriarchal stage. 13. Geol.a division of stratified rocks corresponding to a single geologic age.
14. the small platform of a microscope on which the object to be examined is placed. See illus. under microscope. 15. Radio.an element in a complex mechanism, as a tube and its accessory structures in a multiple amplifier.
16. Rocketry.a section of a rocket containing a rocket engine or cluster of rocket engines, usually separable from other such sections when its propellant is exhausted.
17. by easy stages, working, traveling, etc., slowly, with frequent pauses; unhurriedly, with many stops; gradually.
18. go on the stage, to become an actor, esp. in the theater: She knew from the age of 12 that she would go on the stage. 19. hold the stage, a. to continue to be produced, as a play or other theatrical production.
b. to be the center of attention.
20. on stage, performing, esp. as an actor.
—v.t. 1. to represent, produce, or exhibit on or as if on a stage: The drama class staged a play during Christmas vacation. 2. to furnish with a stage, staging, stage set, etc.
3. to write, direct, or produce (a play) with the action taking place as if in a specified locale or time: He staged the fantasy on Mars in the year 2500. 4. to plan, organize, or carry out (an activity), esp. for dramatic or public effect: Workers staged a one-day strike. 5. to classify the natural progression of (a disease, esp. cancer).
—v.i. 1. to be suitable for presentation or performance on the stage: The script didn't stage well. 2. to travel by stagecoach.