The Jacob's ladder plant.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- Bible the ladder from earth to heaven that Jacob saw in a dream: Gen. 28:12
- a portable ladder used on ships and having, typically, wooden rungs and rope or wire sides
- any of several plants (genus Polemonium) of the phlox family, with pinnately compound leaves and small, blue, bell-shaped flowers
- carrion flower (sense )
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Nautical A rope or chain ladder with rigid rungs.
- Any of various plants of the genus Polemonium, especially P. caeruleum, having blue flowers and alternate, pinnately compound leaves with numerous leaflets.
Origin: From the ladder seen by the biblical patriarch Jacob in a dream (Genesis 28:12).
Jacob's ladder - Cultural Definition
A ladder that Jacob saw in a dream. After he had obtained his brother Esau's birthright and received his father's blessing, he had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending a ladder that extended from Earth to heaven. God, who stood at the top of the ladder, promised to bless Jacob and his offspring and to bring his descendants into the Promised Land. (See Jacob and Esau.)