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stage noun

1 period/state in progress/development

ADJ. distinct The process has three distinct stages. | early, first, initial, opening, preliminary | advanced, closing, final, last, late, latter, terminal Her husband was in the advanced stages of cancer. | halfway, intermediate, secondary | transitional | successive | critical, crucial, important, key, main | easy The book guides you through making your own website in easy stages. | difficult | delicate, vulnerable | embryonic, larval, pupal | experimental, exploratory | committee, design, development/developmental, formative, planning The scheme is still at the planning stage. | knockout, semi-final, etc. Colombia's win sent them through to the knockout stage of the tournament.

VERB + STAGE go/move/pass through The water goes through three stages of purification. | enter, reach We've entered a crucial stage in the project.

PREP. at a/the ~ You should read this article at some stage. | by ~s The university was put together by stages. | during/in a/the ~ in the early stages of the job | in ~s We renovated the house in two stages. | ~ in an important stage in her life | ~ of the latter stages of the race

PHRASES the beginning/end of a stage Pupils are tested at the end of each stage of the course. | a/one stage further take the investigation one stage further | a stage of development/life

2 in a theatre, etc.

ADJ. centre (often figurative) A new actress will take centre stage in next month's production of ‘The Doll's House’. | revolving

VERB + STAGE go on, take (to) He was too nervous to go on stage. I was shaking as I took the stage. She took to the stage when she was at university. | leave She left the stage to tumultuous applause. | set (often figurative) The thrilling semi-finals set the stage for what should be a great game. | boo sb off

STAGE + NOUN management, manager | direction Shakespeare's famous stage direction: ‘Exit, pursued by a bear.’ | play, production, show | appearance, performance, role | set The stage set is the most expensive ever built. | door | name David Harries adopted the stage name Dixon Hare when he became a full-time actor. | left, right | fright Even experienced actors can suffer from stage fright.

PREP. off ~ A trumpet sounded off stage. | on ~ The entire cast is on stage in the final scene.