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rung

A rung is one of the horizontal steps of a ladder. You should never stand on the very top rung of a ladder — it can be dangerous!

From the literal ladder definition of rung, a place to put your foot (or hand) as you climb up, comes the metaphorical meaning of "a level." For example, if you get a promotion at work, you might say you're climbing up the rungs of the company. The horizontal bars between the legs of a chair are also rungs. This word comes from a Germanic root meaning "stake, staff, or bar."

Definitions of rung
  1. noun
    one of the crosspieces that form the steps of a ladder
    synonyms: rundle, spoke
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    type of:
    crosspiece
    a transverse brace
  2. noun
    a crosspiece between the legs of a chair
    synonyms: round, stave
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    type of:
    crosspiece
    a transverse brace
Word Family
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