Meaning of “ladder” in the English Dictionary

"ladder" in British English

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laddernoun

uk /ˈlæd.ər/ us /ˈlæd.ɚ/

ladder noun (EQUIPMENT)

B1 [ C ] a piece of equipment used for climbing up and down, that consists of two vertical bars or pieces of rope joined to each other by a set of horizontal steps:

She was up a ladder, cleaning the window.

More examples

  • Getting up the ladder was easy enough - it was coming down that was the problem.
  • The ladder won't quite reach the top of the wall.
  • My son broke a rib when he fell off a ladder.
  • That ladder doesn't look safe.
  • One of the steps on the ladder is broken.

ladderverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈlæd.ər/ us /ˈlæd.ɚ/ UK

(Definition of “ladder” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ladder" in American English

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laddernoun [ C ]

us /ˈlæd·ər/

a piece of equipment used for climbing up and down, and consisting of two vertical bars joined by a set of horizontal steps:

fig. In only a few years she managed to climb up the corporate ladder (= achieve success in the business world) to become a vice president.

(Definition of “ladder” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ladder" in Business English

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laddernoun [ C, usually singular ]

uk /ˈlædər/ us

a way of referring to a series of increasingly important jobs, or stages in a particular type of work or process:

Most top executives had to climb the ladder.
These entry-level jobs will offer you a chance to get your foot on the first rung of the employment ladder.
First-time buyers are desperate to get on the housing ladder.

(Definition of “ladder” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)