A stage is a certain phase, like the toddler stage, when kids learn to walk and talk. Another kind of stage is a platform for a performance, although according to Shakespeare, “All the world's a stage.”

There are stages of life, development, and grief — and stages of a rocket launch. Another kind of stage is the one that actors, singers, and puppet masters perform on. The profession of theater acting itself is in fact sometimes referred to as "the stage," and to put on a play is to stage it. A "stage whisper" is one between actors that's loud enough for the audience to hear, and a "stage name" is an actor's professional name.

Definitions of stage
  1. noun
    any distinct time period in a sequence of events
    “we are in a transitional stage in which many former ideas must be revised or rejected”
    synonyms: phase
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    the final stage of the prophase of meiosis
    the fourth stage of the prophase of meiosis
    the first stage of the prophase of meiosis
    the third stage of the prophase of meiosis
    phase of cell division
    a stage in meiosis or mitosis
    the second stage of the prophase of meiosis
    anal phase, anal stage
    (psychoanalysis) the second sexual and social stage of a child's development during which bowel control is learned
    genital phase, genital stage
    (psychoanalysis) the fifth sexual and social stage in a person's development occurring during adolescence; interest focuses on sexual activity
    latency period, latency phase, latency stage
    (psychoanalysis) the fourth period (from about age 5 or 6 until puberty) during which sexual interests are supposed to be sublimated into other activities
    oral phase, oral stage
    (psychoanalysis) the first sexual and social stage of an infant's development; the mouth is the focus of the libido and satisfaction comes from suckling and chewing and biting
    phallic phase, phallic stage
    (psychoanalysis) the third stage in a child's development when awareness of and manipulation of the genitals is supposed to be a primary source of pleasure
    any distinct period in history or in a person's life
    (pathology) the phase in the development of an infection between the time a pathogen enters the body and the time the first symptoms appear
    fertile period, fertile phase
    the time in the menstrual cycle when fertilization is most likely to be possible (7 days before to 7 days after ovulation)
    menstrual phase
    the phase of the menstrual cycle during which the lining of the uterus is shed (the first day of menstrual flow is considered day 1 of the menstrual cycle)
    an annual phase of heightened sexual excitement in the males of certain large mammals (especially elephants); is associated with discharge from a gland between the eye and ear
    luteal phase, secretory phase
    the second half of the menstrual cycle after ovulation; the corpus luteum secretes progesterone which prepares the endometrium for the implantation of an embryo; if fertilization does not occur then menstrual flow begins
    a stage of technological development or innovation
    apogee, culmination
    a final climactic stage
    any time of new development
    safe period
    that time during a woman's menstrual cycle during which conception is least likely to occur (usually immediately before of after menstruation)
    the stage of meiosis or mitosis when chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle
    the second stage of mitosis
    the second stage of meiosis
    the first stage of mitosis
    the first stage of meiosis
    the final stage of mitosis
    the final stage of meiosis when the chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle
    type of:
    period, period of time, time period
    an amount of time
  2. noun
    a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process
    “at what stage are the social sciences?”
    synonyms: degree, level, point
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    ascending stages by which somebody or something can progress
    acme, elevation, height, meridian, peak, pinnacle, summit, superlative, tiptop, top, zenith
    the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development
    the point or degree to which something extends
    end point, resultant
    the final point in a process
    standard of life, standard of living
    a level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone or some group
    a level of existence or development
    state of the art
    the highest degree of development of an art or technique at a particular time
    ultimacy, ultimateness
    the state or degree of being ultimate; the final or most extreme in degree or size or time or distance, "the ultimacy of these social values"
    the stage of pregnancy at which the mother first feels the movements of the fetus
    the most severe stage of a disease
    the greatest or utmost degree
    extremeness of degree
    type of:
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  3. noun
    a section or portion of a journey or course
    “then we embarked on the second stage of our Caribbean cruise”
    synonyms: leg
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    a section along the route of a bus for which the fare is the same
    type of:
    travel, traveling, travelling
    the act of going from one place to another
  4. noun
    a large platform on which people can stand and can be seen by an audience
    “he clambered up onto the stage and got the actors to help him into the box”
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    the front half of the stage (as seen from the audience)
    mise en scene, setting, stage setting
    arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted
    apron, forestage, proscenium
    the part of a modern theater stage between the curtain and the orchestra (i.e., in front of the curtain)
    theater stage, theatre stage
    a stage in a theater on which actors can perform
    backstage, offstage, wing
    a stage area out of sight of the audience
    the stage of a theater
    thrust stage
    a theater stage that extends out into the audience's part of a theater and has seats on three sides
    type of:
    a raised horizontal surface
  5. noun
    the theater as a profession (usually `the stage')
    “an early movie simply showed a long kiss by two actors of the contemporary stage
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    type of:
    dramatic art, dramatics, dramaturgy, theater, theatre
    the art of writing and producing plays
  6. noun
    any scene regarded as a setting for exhibiting or doing something
    “"All the world's a stage"--Shakespeare”
    “it set the stage for peaceful negotiations”
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    type of:
    the place where some action occurs
  7. verb
    perform (a play), especially on a stage
    “we are going to stage `Othello'”
    synonyms: present, represent
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    localise, localize, place, set
    type of:
    create anew
  8. verb
    plan, organize, and carry out (an event)
    “the neighboring tribe staged an invasion”
    synonyms: arrange
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    arrange for an illegal dogfight
    tee up
    make detailed arrangements or preparations
    arrange in phases or stages
    type of:
    initiate, pioneer
    take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of
  9. noun
    a large coach-and-four formerly used to carry passengers and mail on regular routes between towns
    “we went out of town together by stage about ten or twelve miles”
    synonyms: stagecoach
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    type of:
    coach, coach-and-four, four-in-hand
    a carriage pulled by four horses with one driver
  10. noun
    a small platform on a microscope where the specimen is mounted for examination
    synonyms: microscope stage
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    type of:
    a raised horizontal surface
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