AskDefine | Define dais

Dictionary Definition

dais n : a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it [syn: podium, pulpit, rostrum, ambo, stump, soapbox]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • /ˈdæɪs/, /"deIs/

Alternative spellings

Noun

Translations

See also

Spanish

Verb

es-verb-form dar

Extensive Definition

For the Ronin Warriors character, see Dais (Ronin Warriors). Desert Senna (Senna covesii) is locally known as "dais".
Dais (French dais, estrade, Italian predella'') is any raised platform located either within or without a room or enclosure, often for dignified occupancy, as at the front of a lecture hall or sanctuary.
Historically, the dais was a part of the floor at the end of a medieval hall, raised a step above the rest of the room. On this the lord of the manor dined with his friends at the high table, apart from the retainers and servants. In medieval halls there was generally a deep recessed bay window at one or at each end of the dais, supposed to be for retirement or greater privacy than the open hall could afford.
In the French language, the word is understood as a canopy or hanging over a seat; probably the name was an accretion from the seats of great people that were surmounted by such a feature.

In literature

In Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, Cedric the Saxon's hall is described as having a dais, "occupied only by the principal members of the family and visitors of distinction" (Chapter III)

References

dais in French: Dais

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

balcony, bench, catafalque, chair, curule chair, emplacement, estrade, floor, gallery, heliport, helm, hustings, landing, landing pad, landing stage, launching pad, platform, podium, pulpit, rostrum, saddle, seat, seat of power, seat of state, soapbox, stage, step terrace, stump, terrace, tribunal, tribune, woolsack
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