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Lad"der (lăd"d&etilde_;r), n. [OE. laddre, AS. hl&aē_;der, hl&aē_;dder; akin to OFries. hladder, OHG. leitara, G. leiter, and from the root of E. lean, v. √40. See Lean, v. i., and cf. Climax.] 1. A frame usually portable, of wood, metal, or rope, for ascent and descent, consisting of two side pieces to which are fastened cross strips or rounds forming steps.
Some the engines play, Dryden.
And some, more bold, mount ladders to the fire.
2. That which resembles a ladder in form or use; hence, that by means of which one attains to eminence; as, to climb the corporate ladder.
Lowliness is young ambition's ladder. Shak.
Fish ladder. See under Fish. -- Ladder beetle (Zo&ö;l.), an American leaf beetle (Chrysomela scalaris). The elytra are silvery white, striped and spotted with green; the under wings are rose-colored. It feeds upon the linden tree. -- Ladder handle, an iron rail at the side of a vertical fixed ladder, to grasp with the hand in climbing. -- Ladder shell (Zo&ö;l.), a spiral marine shell of the genus Scalaria. See Scalaria.