The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Stage \Stage\ (st[=a]j), n. [OF. estage, F. ['e]tage, (assumed)
LL. staticum, from L. stare to stand. See Stand, and cf.
1. A floor or story of a house. [Obs.] --Wyclif.
2. An elevated platform on which an orator may speak, a play
be performed, an exhibition be presented, or the like.
3. A floor elevated for the convenience of mechanical work,
or the like; a scaffold; a staging.
4. A platform, often floating, serving as a kind of wharf.
5. The floor for scenic performances; hence, the theater; the
playhouse; hence, also, the profession of representing
dramatic compositions; the drama, as acted or exhibited.
Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the
Lo! where the stage, the poor, degraded stage,
Holds its warped mirror to a gaping age. --C.
6. A place where anything is publicly exhibited; the scene of
any noted action or career; the spot where any remarkable
affair occurs; as, politicians must live their lives on
the public stage.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools. --Shak.
Music and ethereal mirth
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring.
7. The platform of a microscope, upon which an object is
placed to be viewed. See Illust. of Microscope.
8. A place of rest on a regularly traveled road; a stage
house; a station; a place appointed for a relay of horses.
9. A degree of advancement in a journey; one of several
portions into which a road or course is marked off; the
distance between two places of rest on a road; as, a stage
of ten miles.
A stage . . . signifies a certain distance on a
He traveled by gig, with his wife, his favorite
horse performing the journey by easy stages.
10. A degree of advancement in any pursuit, or of progress
toward an end or result.
Such a polity is suited only to a particular stage
in the progress of society. --Macaulay.
11. A large vehicle running from station to station for the
accommodation of the public; a stagecoach; an omnibus. "A
parcel sent you by the stage." --Cowper. [Obsolescent]
I went in the sixpenny stage. --Swift.
12. (Biol.) One of several marked phases or periods in the
development and growth of many animals and plants; as,
the larval stage; pupa stage; zoea stage.
Stage box, a box close to the stage in a theater.
Stage carriage, a stagecoach.
Stage door, the actors' and workmen's entrance to a
Stage lights, the lights by which the stage in a theater is
Stage micrometer, a graduated device applied to the stage
of a microscope for measuring the size of an object.
Stage wagon, a wagon which runs between two places for
conveying passengers or goods.
Stage whisper, a loud whisper, as by an actor in a theater,
supposed, for dramatic effect, to be unheard by one or
more of his fellow actors, yet audible to the audience; an