Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DAILY LIFE

Language: Old English
Origin: hlæder

ladder

1 noun
     
ladder
lad‧der1 S3 [countable]
1D a piece of equipment used for climbing up to or down from high places. A ladder has two bars that are connected by rungs (=short bars that you use as steps):
She climbed up the ladder.
He hurt himself falling off a ladder.
rope ladder, stepladder
2 a series of levels which someone moves up and down within an organization, profession, or society
career/corporate ladder
Stevens slowly worked his way up the corporate ladder.
Becoming a doctor would be a step up the social ladder.
the first step on the ladder of success
3 British English a long thin hole in stockings or tights where some stitches have broken [= run American English]
Yes, I know I've got a ladder in my tights.
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