1. a way of marching in very close file, in which the leg of each person moves with and closely behind the corresponding leg of the person ahead.
  2. a rigidly inflexible pattern or process.
  1. rigidly inflexible: a lockstep educational curriculum.

Origin of lockstep

First recorded in 1795–1805; lock1 + step
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lockstep


  1. a method of marching in step such that the men follow one another as closely as possible
  2. mainly US and Canadian a standard procedure that is closely, often mindlessly, followed
  3. in lockstep with progressing at exactly the same speed and in the same direction as other people or things, esp as a matter of course rather than by choice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012