If your ball lands on the roof, grab a ladder and climb up and get it. A ladder has steps you use to reach up high. If you climb the corporate ladder, you’re moving up in the business world.

Some ladders are just a few feet tall, and others are taller than a house. Still others are invisible –- any time you move up in your career as a banker or NFL football player, you climb the ladder. In British English, a ladder is a run in stockings, which is funny because it usually looks like one. The superstition that it's bad luck to walk under an open ladder dates from the eighteenth century.

Primary Meanings of ladder

steps consisting of two parallel members connected by rungs; for climbing up or down
a row of unravelled stitches
come unraveled or undone as if by snagging
Full Definitions of ladder

n steps consisting of two parallel members connected by rungs; for climbing up or down

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articulated ladder
a ladder consisting of segments (usually four) that are held together by joints that can lock in place
extension ladder
a ladder whose length can be extended
Jacob's ladder, jack ladder, pilot ladder
(nautical) a hanging ladder of ropes or chains supporting wooden or metal rungs or steps
monkey ladder
a light ladder to the monkey bridge on a ship
rope ladder
a ladder with side pieces of rope
scaling ladder
a ladder used to scale walls (as in an attack)
sea ladder, sea steps
(nautical) ladder to be lowered over a ship's side for coming aboard
step ladder, stepladder
a folding portable ladder hinged at the top
accommodation ladder
(nautical) a portable ladder hung over the side of a vessel to give access to small boats alongside
aerial ladder
mechanically extendible ladder; used on a fire truck
Type of:
stairs, steps
a flight of stairs or a flight of steps

n ascending stages by which somebody or something can progress

“he climbed the career ladder
Type of:
degree, level, point, stage
a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process

n a row of unravelled stitches

ravel, run
Type of:
damage, harm, impairment
the occurrence of a change for the worse

v come unraveled or undone as if by snagging

run, unravel
become undone
Type of:
break, come apart, fall apart, separate, split up
become separated into pieces or fragments

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