From Middle English steire, staire, stayre, stayer, steir, steyre, steyer, from Old English stǣġer (“stair, staircase”), from Proto-Germanic *staigriz (“stairs, scaffolding”), from Proto-Indo-European *steygʰ- (“to walk, proceed, march, climb”). Cognate with Dutch steiger (“a stair, step, wharf, pier, scaffolding”), Middle Low German steiger, steir (“scaffolding”), German Low German Steiger (“a scaffold; trestle”). Related to Old English āstǣġan (“to ascend, go up, embark”), Old English stīġan (“to go, move, reach; ascend, mount, go up, spring up, rise; scale”), German Stiege (“a flight of stairs”). More at sty.
- (General American) IPA(key): /stɛɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /stɛə/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)
- Homophone: stare
stair (plural stairs)
- A single step in a staircase.
- Synonym: step
- A series of steps; a staircase.
- 1899, Hughes Mearns, Antigonish:
- Yesterday, upon the stair / I met a man who wasn’t there / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish he’d go away …
- Stairs and stair are used to refer to a single staircase, mostly interchangeably in the UK.
- (Cockney rhyming slang) apples and pears
From Old Irish stoir, from Latin historia, from Ancient Greek ἱστορίᾱ (historíā). Doublet of stór.
stair f (genitive singular staire, nominative plural startha)
Forms with the definite article
- Ó Dónaill, Niall (1977), “stair”, in Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla, Dublin: An Gúm, →ISBN
- Entries containing “stair” in English-Irish Dictionary, An Gúm, 1959, by Tomás de Bhaldraithe.
- Entries containing “stair” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.
- Quiggin, E. C. (1906) A Dialect of Donegal, Cambridge University Press, page 32