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This article is about a raised platform. For the character in Ronin Warriors, see Dais (Ronin Warriors). For the plant, see Senna covesii.
Not to be confused with Dias.

A dais (/ˈd.əs/ or /ˈd.əs/)[1] is any raised platform located either inside or outside a room or enclosure, often for dignified occupancy,[2] 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.[3]

In life drawing rooms of art schools, the platform where the model poses for the students is sometimes referred to as the dais.


The word dais was first used in the thirteenth century.[4] The word comes from the Anglo-French deis, meaning "table" or "platform", from the Greek δίσκος dískos, meaning "disk" or "dish".[5]


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Dais
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dais". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 761. 
  4. ^ "Dais". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  5. ^ "Dais". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-06-22.