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Meaning of ladder

lad•der

Pronunciation: (lad'ur), [key]
— n.
  1. a structure of wood, metal, or rope, commonly consisting of two sidepieces between which a series of bars or rungs are set at suitable distances, forming a means of climbing up or down.
  2. something resembling this.
  3. a means of rising, as to eminence: the ladder of success.
  4. a graded series of stages or levels in status; a hierarchical order of position or rank: high on the political ladder.
  5. companionway (def. 1).
  6. a run in a stocking.
—v.t.
  1. to climb or mount by means of a ladder: to ladder a wall.
  2. to furnish with a ladder: to ladder a water tower.
  3. to cause a run in (a stocking).
—v.i.
  1. to get a run, as in a stocking.
  2. to gain in popularity or importance: He laddered to the top of his profession.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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