ladder

(redirected from ladders)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

corporate ladder

The hierarchy of authority and earning power within a large business or corporation, likened to the rungs of a ladder. Usually used with some variable verb or phrase referring to ascension. Although you're starting at an entry-level position, this company prides itself on giving employees the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder if they prove their abilities and determination. She proved early on that she had unique business smarts, and she's been making her way up the corporate ladder ever since.
See also: corporate, ladder

low man on the ladder

The person (not necessarily male) with the least amount of experience, authority, and/or influence in a social or corporate hierarchy. It can be a little daunting going from being a senior in high school to low man on the ladder again as a college freshman. I know I'll be low man on the ladder with this internship, but it will at least give me a place to start my career!
See also: ladder, low, man, on

the lowest rung on the ladder

The person with the least amount of experience, authority, and/or influence in a social or corporate hierarchy. It can be a little daunting going from being a senior in high school to the lowest rung of the ladder again as a college freshman. I know I'll be the lowest rung on the ladder with this internship, but it will at least give me a place to start my career!
See also: ladder, low, on, rung

the lowest rung of the ladder

The lowest, most basic position in a given group. Quarks are at the lowest rung of the ladder in the physical makeup of matter. Tech startups may start on the lowest rung of the ladder economically, but, given their business model, they have a very high potential for growth.
See also: ladder, low, of, rung

the social ladder

The hierarchical structure or makeup of a culture, society, or social environment. Miss Dumfey hopes to improve her standing on the social ladder with a marriage to the baron. It's always hard for high school freshmen to find their place on the social ladder. Mary's had a chip on her shoulder from being raised in a trailer park, so climbing the social ladder has been her only aim since leaving home.
See also: ladder, social

climb the social ladder

To improve one's position within the hierarchical structure or makeup of a culture, society, or social environment. Miss Dumfey hopes to climb the social ladder by marrying the local diplomat. John's had a chip on his shoulder from being raised in a trailer park, so climbing the social ladder has been his only aim since leaving home.
See also: climb, ladder, social

at the bottom of the ladder

 and on the bottom rung (of the ladder)
Fig. at the lowest level of pay and status. (Alludes to the lowness of the bottom rung of a ladder.) Most people start work at the bottom of the ladder. After Ann got fired, she had to start all over again on the bottom rung.
See also: bottom, ladder, of

can't see a hole in a ladder

stupid or drunk. No use asking her questions. She can't see a hole in a ladder. After the big party, Joe needed someone to drive him home. He couldn't see a hole in a ladder.
See also: hole, ladder, see

Crosses are ladders that lead to heaven.

Prov. Having to endure trouble can help you to be virtuous. When Mary was diagnosed with cancer, her mother consoled her by saying that crosses are ladders that lead to heaven, and that though she might have to suffer in this world, she would surely be rewarded in the next.
See also: Crosse, heaven, ladder, lead

He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom.

Prov. If you want to gain high status, you must start with low status and slowly work upwards. Although Thomas hoped to become a famous journalist, he didn't mind working for a small-town newspaper at first. "He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom," he said.
See also: begin, bottom, climb, he, ladder, must, who

the bottom of the ladder

the lowest rank Because she was just out of college, her job was at the bottom of the ladder.
Opposite of: top of the ladder
See also: bottom, ladder, of

the top of the ladder

the highest level or position After thirty years with the company, he's near the top of the ladder.
Opposite of: the bottom of the ladder
See also: ladder, of, top

the [first/highest/next etc.] rung on the ladder

the first, highest, next etc. position, especially in society or in a job In our society, a nurse is hardly on the same rung of the ladder as a judge. President of the Union at Oxford University was the first rung on the political ladder for him.
See also: ladder, on, rung

at the top of the ladder

in the highest position in an organization He's at the top of the ladder after a long and successful career.
See also: ladder, of, top

bottom of the ladder

Lowest or most junior position in a hierarchy. For example, If we hire you, you'll have to begin at the bottom of the ladder. The rungs of a ladder have been likened to a step-wise progression since the 14th century. Also see low man on the totem pole.
See also: bottom, ladder, of
References in classic literature ?
The locksmith turned, with a start, towards the place from which the words had come, and looked hurriedly at the people who were hanging on the ladder and clinging to each other.
So it was he who in turn mounted the ladder, unhooking pictures and curtains, and dislodging ornaments as Edna directed.
The garret was lighted by a candle stuck upon a board; it had almost burned itself out, and was sputtering and smoking as Jurgis rushed up the ladder.
Why, Tom Sawyer, how you talk," I says; "Jim ain't got no use for a rope ladder.
and obediently disappeared as he descended the ladder.
And Aramis ascended the ladder quickly and reached the window in an instant.
Not from compunction certainly, but, as it were me- chanically, I proceeded to get the ladder in myself.
It's only a sort of loft, reached by a ladder, said Nolan.
Aunt Em, badly frightened, threw open the trap door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small, dark hole.
If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I too will try my fortune,' said he, and the next day when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried:
My eyes had now become quite used to the subdued light of the interior, and as I pursued my investigation I presently came upon a rough ladder at the far side of the cave.
I had raised the rope-ladder after us into my own old room, and while Raffles wedged his door I lowered the ladder from one of the best bedroom windows, in order to prepare that way of escape which was a fundamental feature of his own strategy.
I shall descend, and Joe will go with me, only that he must remain at the foot of the ladder.
said Jupiter, "a scholar has just seized the ladder.
As he turned to descend the ladder he was surprised to see his wife standing on the steps almost at his side.