General English


  • noun a group components forming part of an electrical or electronic system


  • noun a period, one of several points in a process of development


  • A component or functional unit within a circuit, device, piece of equipment, or system. For example, an amplifier stage, an intermediate-frequency stage, an oscillator stage, or a mixer stage.


  • noun a point in the development of a disease at which a decision can be taken about the treatment which should be given or at which distinctive developments take place

Origin & History of “stage”

A stage (like a stable) is etymologically a ‘standing-place’. The word comes via Old French estage from vulgar Latin *staticum ‘standing-place, position’, a derivative of Latin stāre ‘stand’ (to which English stand is distantly related). By the time it arrived in English it had acquired the additional connotation of a ‘set of positions one above the other’, and this led to its use in the more concrete senses ‘storey, floor’ and ‘raised platform’. The specific application to a ‘platform in a theatre’ emerged in the mid-16th century. The sense ‘section of a journey’ (on which stagecoach (17th c.) is based) developed at the end of the 16th century, presumably on the analogy of physical levels succeeding one another in ‘steps’ or ‘tiers’; and the further metaphoricization to ‘step in development’ took place in the 19th century.