Meaning of “stage” in the English Dictionary

"stage" in British English

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stagenoun [ C ]

uk /steɪdʒ/ us /steɪdʒ/

stage noun [ C ] (PART)

B2 a part of an activity or a period of development:

The project is in its final stages and should be completed by August.
They did the last stage of their journey on foot.
Our marriage is going through a difficult stage at the moment.
Their youngest child is at the stage where she can say individual words but not full sentences.
I'm not tired at the moment but I will need a rest at some stage (= at some time) during the walk.
Andrew spends all his spare time playing with his computer but it's probably just a stage he's going through (= a period of development that will end soon).
in stages

If you do something in stages, you divide the activity into parts and complete each part separately:

We're decorating the house in stages so it won't be ready for another couple of months.

specialized engineering one of the separate parts of a rocket, each part having its own engine:

Once its fuel supply runs out, each stage separates from the main part of the rocket and falls back to earth.

More examples

  • My Spanish never really progressed beyond the stage of being able to order drinks at the bar.
  • I do not propose to reveal details at this stage.
  • At some stage we need to calculate when the project will be finished.
  • Confession is the first stage of coming to terms with what you've done.
  • The corpse was in an advanced stage of decomposition.

stage noun [ C ] (THEATRE)

A2 the area in a theatre that is often raised above ground level and on which actors or entertainers perform:

Hamlet is on stage for most of the act.
The orchestra went on/off stage to great applause.
The play is a stage adaptation of William Golding's novel.
The singer returns to the Oslo stage (= will perform again in Oslo) this summer.

a particular area of public life:

The president was extremely popular on the world stage but was disliked in his own country.
take the stage

to go onto the stage and start to perform

More examples

  • The show climaxed with all the performers singing on stage together.
  • She made her professional stage debut in Swan Lake.
  • The cast all lined up on stage to take their bow.
  • She made her exit from the stage to rapturous applause.
  • He made his first stage appearance at the age of six.

stageverb [ T ]

uk /steɪdʒ/ us /steɪdʒ/

C2 to arrange and perform a play or show:

The local drama group is staging a production of the musical "Grease".

to organize an event:

London staged the Olympic Games in 2012.

More examples

  • We're staging a revival of a 1950s play.
  • Protesters staged an anti-war demonstration in front of the US embassy.
  • Senior union workers staged a walkout this afternoon at the annual conference over the proposed changes in funding.
  • Students staged a sit-in in the university offices as part of their protest campaign.
  • The commandos staged a daring raid on the enemy.

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

"stage" in American English

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us /steɪdʒ/

stage noun (PART)

[ C ] a part of an activity, or a period of development:

The software is in the early stages of development.
At that stage of my life, I was married but didn’t have any children.
in stages

If you do something in stages, you divide the activity into parts and complete each part separately:

We’re repairing the house in stages – first the roof and chimney, then the windows.

stage noun (THEATER)

[ C/U ] the area in a theater, often raised above ground level, on which actors or entertainers perform:

[ C ] When you’re sitting in the balcony, you see more of the ceiling than the stage.
[ U ] Berlin’s most successful stage musical was "Annie Get Your Gun."
[ U ] She was a popular star of the musical stage (= of this type of theater).
As a child, he appeared on stage (= performing in theaters).

[ C/U ] A stage is also a particular area of public life:

[ C ] His novel includes such actors on the world stage as Fidel Castro and the Pope.

stageverb [ T ]

us /steɪdʒ/

stage verb [ T ] (THEATER)

to arrange the performance of a play or other entertainment:

Bejart was staging his own ballets.

If you stage an event, you organize it:

Bus drivers are planning to stage a 24-hour strike.

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

"stage" in Business English

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uk /steɪdʒ/ us

[ C ] one of a series of periods of development in a process:

Flotation is a key stage in the group's development plans.
From an early stage financial regulators blamed a lack of internal controls for the bank's failure.
At this stage, there is no proposal to change the existing management structure of the group.
Negotiations with the union have reached a critical stage.
first/final/next stage

[ S ] a particular area of public life where important events happen:

global/international/world stage His speech at the party conference propelled him onto the international stage.
in stages

if you do something in stages, you divide the activity into parts and complete each part separately:

The proposed budget cuts would be made in stages over the next five years.

stageverb [ T ]

uk /steɪdʒ/ us

to organize a large or important event for a large number of people:

London won the bid to stage the 2012 Olympics.

to start to happen:

stage a comeback/rally/recovery Wall Street staged a dramatic recovery, wiping out most of its early losses.

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