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verb (used with object)
  1. to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent: to steep tea in boiling-hot water; to steep reeds for basket weaving.
  2. to wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench; saturate; imbue.
  3. to immerse in or saturate or imbue with some pervading, absorbing, or stupefying influence or agency: an incident steeped in mystery.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to lie soaking in a liquid.
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  1. the act or process of steeping or the state of being steeped.
  2. a liquid in which something is steeped.
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Origin of steep

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English stepen < ?; compare Swedish stöpa; (noun) late Middle English stepe, derivative of the v.
Related formssteep·er, nounun·steeped, adjective

Synonyms for steep

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1. infuse. 2. permeate. 3. bury, engulf.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for steeped

drench, bathe, immerse, suffuse, marinate, saturate, permeate, submerge, soak, infuse, imbue, ingrain, moisten, impregnate, invest, damp, souse, sop, pervade, macerate

Examples from the Web for steeped

Contemporary Examples of steeped

Historical Examples of steeped

British Dictionary definitions for steeped


    1. having or being a slope or gradient approaching the perpendicular
    2. (as noun)the steep
  1. informal (of a fee, price, demand, etc) unduly high; unreasonable (esp in the phrase that's a bit steep)
  2. informal excessively demanding or ambitiousa steep task
  3. British informal (of a statement) extreme or far-fetched
  4. obsolete elevated
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Derived Formssteeply, adverbsteepness, noun

Word Origin for steep

Old English steap; related to Old Frisian stāp, Old High German stouf cliff, Old Norse staup


  1. to soak or be soaked in a liquid in order to soften, cleanse, extract an element, etc
  2. (tr; usually passive) to saturate; imbuesteeped in ideology
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  1. an instance or the process of steeping or the condition of being steeped
  2. a liquid or solution used for the purpose of steeping something
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Derived Formssteeper, noun

Word Origin for steep

Old English stēpan; related to steap vessel, cup, Old High German stouf, Old Norse staup, Middle Dutch stōp
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

Word Origin and History for steeped



"having a sharp slope," Old English steap "high, lofty," from Proto-Germanic *staupaz (cf. Old Frisian stap, Middle High German *stouf), from PIE *steup- "to push, stick, knock, beat," with derivations referring to projecting objects (cf. Greek typtein "to strike," typos "a blow, mold, die;" Sanskrit tup- "harm," tundate "pushes, stabs;" Gothic stautan "push;" Old Norse stuttr "short"). The sense of "precipitous" is from c.1200. The slang sense "at a high price" is a U.S. coinage first attested 1856. Related: Steeply; steepness.

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"to soak in a liquid," late 14c., of uncertain origin, originally in reference to barley or malt, probably cognate with Old Norse steypa "to pour out, throw" (or an unrecorded Old English cognate), from Proto-Germanic *staupijanan. Related: Steeped; steeping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper