Stair vs stare

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Stair and stare are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words stair and stare, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A stair is one of a series of steps that comprise a set of stairs, which lead to an incline or decline in altitude. Most often, the term is seen in the plural form, stairs. Stairs may lead to another floor in a building or be used to move up or down an incline in a landscape. A set of stairs is often referred to as a flight of stairs. The word stair is derived from the Old English word stæger, which means a staircase or a flight of stairs.

Stare may mean a fixed, unblinking look or to look at someone in a fixed, unblinking manner. Someone may stare when surveying something or someone unrelentingly, or it may also describe looking at something vacantly, deep in thought, and without truly perceiving the person or item at which one is staring. Stare is used as either a noun or a verb. Related words are stares, stared, staring. The word stare is derived from the Old English word starian, which means to gaze at intently, to look at fixedly.


A recent study, led by co-author John Bellettiere and a team at San Diego State University, found that stair use increased when signs nudging people to take the stairs were placed at the base of a staircase/escalator at the San Diego International Airport. (The Portsmouth Daily Times)

Whenever we hang out with friends, both men and women stare at us, and I find it disgusting. (The Times of India)