Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.


1. one of a flight of stairs
2. a series of steps


A series of steps or flights of steps for going between two or more successive levels with connecting landings at each level, either on the exterior or in the interior.

box stair

An interior staircase constructed with a closed string on both sides, often enclosed by walls or partitions with door openings at various floor levels.

circular stair

A stair having a cylindrical shape.

closed-string stair

A staircase whose profile of treads and risers is covered at the side by a string or sloping member which supports the balustrade.

dogleg stair

Two flights of stairs that are parallel to each other with a half-landing in between.

elliptical stair

Winding stair in which the plan of its inside edges is in the shape of an ellipse.

geometrical stair

A winder stair in which the outside of the winders is supported by walls forming three sides of a rectangle, and the inner side is unsupported and without a newel post.

hanging stair

A stair supported by individual hanging steps projecting horizontally from a wall on one side, with corbels or brackets.

helical stair

A stair whose treads are wrapped around a helix: commonly called a spiral stair.

open stair

A stair or stairway, whose treads are visible on one or both sides and open to a room in which it is located.

open-string stair

A staircase whose profile of treads and risers is visible from the side; the treads support the balusters.

open-well stair

A stair built around a well, leaving an open space.


(civil engineering)
A series of steps between levels or from floor to floor in a building.



When interpreting this dream, try to remember your feelings upon awakening. Going up and down the stairs could mean several different things. It could represent changes in consciousness, movement from one inner plane to another, or a change in understanding. In a more material sense, it could represent a rise or fall in economic or social status and the general efforts that are required to accomplish life’s small and large goals. Climbing may represent an achievement of your ambitions and a movement in a positive direction. Descending may symbolize your doubts or a period following hard work and achievement of a significant goal. Generally, dreaming of ascending a stairway connotes movement in a positive direction while descending is indicative of a down period or negative flow of ideas or actions.
References in classic literature ?
Tom set his candle on the stairs, and began to make his way toward the pile of notes, stooping low as he went.
I was spared the trouble of answering, for Bessie seemed in too great a hurry to listen to explanations; she hauled me to the washstand, inflicted a merciless, but happily brief scrub on my face and hands with soap, water, and a coarse towel; disciplined my head with a bristly brush, denuded me of my pinafore, and then hurrying me to the top of the stairs, bid me go down directly, as I was wanted in the breakfast-room.
Under cover of the darkness he followed out of the room, followed down the stairs, followed down the court, followed out into the streets.
As we went up, doors of rooms were opened and people's heads put out; and we passed other people on the stairs, who were coming down.
As he ascended the last stair or two, and the light of my lamp included us both, I saw, with a stupid kind of amazement, that he was holding out both his hands to me.
It was sometimes his way--the master's, that is--to write his orders on a sheet of paper and throw it on the stair.
He insisted on carrying my traps along the passage, and then up a great winding stair, and along another great passage, on whose stone floor our steps rang heavily.
After a time I discovered that I was cold and wet, and with little pools of water about me on the stair carpet.
One of them, stationed upon the top stair, naked sword in hand, prevented, or at least endeavored to prevent, the three others from ascending.
Now we have in a dungeon about twenty feet distant, and to which you descend by another stair, an abbe, formerly leader of a party in Italy, who has been here since 1811, and in 1813 he went mad, and the change is astonishing.
He went hastily down, and was followed by a dignified person, dressed in a purple velvet suit with very rich embroidery; his demeanor would have possessed much stateliness, only that a grievous fit of the gout compelled him to hobble from stair to stair, with contortions of face and body.
Caswall moved to the door leading to the turret stair by which the roof was reached, and spoke in a peremptory way, whose tone alone made her feel defiant.