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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
dais
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
raised
▪ Liessa and the Loremaster were waiting on a raised dais at one end of the meadow.
▪ What the tourists come to see is a raised dais of grass hemmed in by a retaining wall.
▪ On the raised dais in front of him lay Sylvie's coffin.
▪ There was a raised dais at one end underneath a skylight, with a sort of bed on it.
▪ In the centre of the room there was a raised dais, and it was also roofed with gold.
▪ The band, dressed in evening wear and sitting on a raised dais, were at the far end of the hall.
▪ On a raised dais in front of large windows looking out on to the agricultural college gardens sat the Inspector.
▪ There was a raised dais on one side of the square on which the Sheikh Osman sat cross-legged.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A few of his followers had joined him on the dais.
▪ Hollins will be keeping his eye on Councilman Keith Beier, his ideological nemesis and verbal sparring partner on the council dais.
▪ I took my place in the refectory at a separate table near the dais and watched the lady prioress sweep in.
▪ In the square the torches began to go out, until there were only one or two left near the dais.
▪ Liessa and the Loremaster were waiting on a raised dais at one end of the meadow.
▪ On the dais all the boys were congratulating themselves.
▪ Some staff members must have been wondering if they should install ropes around the dais and call in boxing promoter Don King.
▪ Think how slowly the agricultural world faded from dominance in dais country.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Dais

Dais \Da"is\ (d[=a]"[i^]s), n. [OE. deis, des, table, dais, OF. deis table, F. dais a canopy, L. discus a quoit, a dish (from the shape), LL., table, fr. Gr. ? a quoit, a dish. See Dish.]

  1. The high or principal table, at the end of a hall, at which the chief guests were seated; also, the chief seat at the high table. [Obs.]

  2. A platform slightly raised above the floor of a hall or large room, giving distinction to the table and seats placed upon it for the chief guests.

  3. A canopy over the seat of a person of dignity. [Obs.]
    --Shiply.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
dais

mid-13c., from Anglo-French deis, Old French dais "table, platform," from Latin discus "disk-shaped object," also, by medieval times, "table," from Greek diskos "quoit, disk, dish" (see disk (n.)). Died out in English c.1600, preserved in Scotland, revived 19c. by antiquarians.

Wiktionary
dais

alt. A raised platform in a room for dignified occupancy. n. A raised platform in a room for dignified occupancy.

WordNet
dais

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

Wikipedia
Dais

A dais ( or ) is any raised platform located either inside or outside a room or enclosure, often for dignified occupancy, as at the front of a lecture hall or sanctuary. At military parades, the dais is the raised, sometimes covered, platform from where the troops are reviewed, addresses made and salutes taken.

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 intimates at the high table, apart from the followers 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 life drawing rooms of art schools, the platform where the model poses for the students is sometimes referred to as the dais.

Usage examples of "dais".

In response to his gesture, eyes now fully formed and ablaze, the two clouds of sooty vapor that had been hovering impatiently by his steel-booted feet ballooned to the size of black buffalo as they sped gleefully away from the dais to intercept the impudent, foolhardy human.

Councillor Albedo stepped to the edge of the low dais and began to speak.

 Dom Paulo arose and moved to the front of the dais to stare at the faintly defined shape in the shadows.

He advanced between the ranks of assembled Lords and made his bow before the railing that fronted the pyramidal dais.

He bowed before the low dais upon which the boy Light of Heaven reclined on cushions, then glanced with interest at the other assembled personages.

Candles had been brought to light the long desk or dais where sat the Bailly in his great chair, and the twelve scarlet-robed jurats.

His Majesty sat on a low dais, in a gilded and padded chair beneath a baldachin hung behind and on either side with weighty purple velvet to shut out the draughts.

On the dais was a throne of carven ivory, and above it a canopy of baudekin of the goodliest fashion, and there was a foot-carpet before it, wrought with beasts and the hunting of the deer.

Shafts of light from above partially illuminated the drunken courtiers as Bib Fortuna crossed the floor to the dais.

Soon, the palace would be filled with crimson capes, and only the Blood of the Fold would be seated at the dais.

She 176 fell in beside her mistress, heeling perfectly as Centaine started up towards the dais.

On the dais, Dandy Lass curtsied politely in front of the prime minister, and at a word from Centaine offered him her right paw.

As he climbed the dais, Corbal watched him, his gaze like a ruby laser.

The vast banner of Ro Holding hung behind the dais, hiding the door, so fragile and old that black swan melted into blue-black night, and only the tarnished threads depicting the stars of the Cygnet in flight seemed to hold the darkness together.

Veda Kong, at a sign from Darr Veter, stood before the screen on a gleaming round metal dais.