American Dictionary of the English Language

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LAD'DER, noun

1. A frame of wood, consisting of two side pieces, connected by rounds inserted in them at suitable distances, and thus forming steps, by which persons may ascend a building, etc.

2. That by which a person ascends or rises; means of ascending; as a ladder made of cords.

Lowliness is young ambition's ladder

3. Gradual rise; elevation.

Mounting fast towards the top of the ladder ecclesiastical.