Meaning of LADDER in English
I. lad ‧ der 1 S3 /ˈlædə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: hlæder ]
1 . a piece of equipment used for climbing up to or down from high places. A ladder has two bars that are connected by ↑ rung s (=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
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 ↑ stocking s or ↑ tights where some stitches have broken SYN run American English :
Yes, I know I’ve got a ladder in my tights.
⇨ ↑ Snakes and Ladders
• • •
▪ climb (up/down) a ladder
He climbed the ladder up to the diving platform.
▪ go up/down a ladder
Be careful going down the ladder!
▪ come up/down a ladder
Dickson came up the ladder from the engine room.
▪ descend a ladder formal (=climb down)
He closed the hatch and descended the ladder.
▪ fall off a ladder
One of the builders fell off a ladder and broke his leg.
▪ a rung of a ladder (=the part you put your foot on)
The first rung of the ladder was broken.
▪ a step of a ladder (=the part you put your foot on)
The can of paint was balanced on one of the steps of the ladder.
▪ the foot of a ladder (=the bottom of a ladder)
Zach waited at the foot of the ladder while Sam climbed up.
▪ the bottom/top of a ladder
She sighed with relief when she reached the bottom of the ladder.
II. ladder 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
British English if ↑ stocking s or ↑ tights ladder, or if you ladder them, a long thin hole is made in them because some stitches have broken SYN run American English
• • •
▪ tear to damage paper or cloth by pulling it too hard, or letting it touch something sharp:
She unwrapped the present carefully, trying not to tear the paper.
I tore a hole in my jacket, climbing over the fence.
▪ rip to tear something quickly or violently:
Beth excitedly ripped open the package.
Stop pulling my dress! You’ll rip it!
▪ split to tear your trousers or shirt when you put them on, because they are too tight for you:
He bent down and split his trousers.
Oh no, now I’ve split my shirt.
▪ ladder British English if a woman ladders her ↑ tights or STOCKINGS , she tears them so that a long thin line appears in them:
Damn! I’ve laddered my tights!
▪ snag to catch a piece of clothing on something rough or sharp so that it tears slightly:
I snagged my shirt on a nail.
▪ shred to deliberately destroy letters, documents etc by cutting them into thin pieces, often by using a special machine:
In order to prevent fraud, it’s best to shred your bank statements.
I went through all my papers shredding things I didn’t need.
▪ frayed torn a little along the edges – used about clothes, carpets etc that have been used a lot:
He was wearing an old pair of frayed jeans.
The rug was a little frayed around the edges.
The jacket was a little frayed at the cuffs.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012