verb (used without object), stepped, step·ping.
verb (used with object), stepped, step·ping.
- to lower or decrease by degrees.
- to relinquish one's authority or control; resign: Although he was past retirement age, he refused to step down and let his son take over the business.
- to leave a place, especially for a brief period of time.
- to walk or march at a more rapid pace.
- to go out to a social gathering or on a date: We're stepping out tonight.
- to raise or increase by degrees: to step up production.
- to be promoted; advance.
- to make progress; improve.
- moving in time to a rhythm or with the corresponding step of others.
- in harmony or conformity with: They are not in step with the times.
- not in time to a rhythm or corresponding to the step of others.
- not in harmony or conformity with: They are out of step with the others in their group.
- from one stage to the next in sequence.
- gradually and steadily: We were shown the steelmaking process step by step.
Origin of step
Origin of step-
Related Words for stepstride, point, advance, means, process, measure, start, act, phase, procedure, stage, stair, tread, dance, skip, tiptoe, walk, vestige, impression, gait
Examples from the Web for step
Contemporary Examples of step
Plenty of conservative commentators have said he should step down from his leadership position.Today’s GOP: Still Cool With Racist Pandering?
January 7, 2015
But Brooke was out of step with the New Left and its notion of radical chic.Ed Brooke: The Senate's Civil Rights Pioneer and Prophet of a Post-Racial America
January 4, 2015
In the 21st century women are earning their equality every step of the way… including the bedroom.Career-Minded Women Turn to Male Escorts For No-Strings Fun and (Maybe) Sex
January 3, 2015
The train was already in motion as she tried to step inside, and her body was crushed beneath it.Riding Thailand’s WWII Death Railway
December 21, 2014
Out of step with his own party, the libertarian-leaning senator plays to his original base.Presidential Hopeful Rand Paul Backs Obama on Cuba Deal
December 18, 2014
Historical Examples of step
As I approached nearer I saw at every step new tokens of my friends.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
"Taken the first step toward a good dinner," said the other, coolly.Brave and Bold
“Would that you had been with us,” said Ambrose, sitting down beside him on the step.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
He walked, indeed, with a step of amazing springiness for a man of his years.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
In this a step in advance of some of our neighbours was taken.Explorations in Australia
- marching, dancing, etc, in conformity with a specified pace or moving in unison with others
- informalin agreement or harmony
- not moving in conformity with a specified pace or in accordance with others
- informalnot in agreement; out of harmony
- informalto conduct oneself with caution and good behaviour
- to walk or move carefully
verb steps, stepping or stepped
Word Origin for step
- a set of aerobic exercises designed to improve the cardiovascular system, which consists of stepping on and off a special box of adjustable height
- (as modifier)Step aerobics
n acronym for
Word Origin for step-
Old English steppan (Anglian), stæppan (West Saxon) "take a step," from West Germanic *stap- "tread" (cf. Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch stap, Old High German stapfo, German stapfe "footstep"), from PIE root *stebh- "to tread, step" (cf. Old Church Slavonic stopa "step, pace," stepeni "step, degree"). Originally strong (past tense stop, past participle bestapen); weak forms emerged 13c., universal from 16c. Stepping stone first recorded early 14c.; in the figurative sense 1650s. Step on it "hurry up" is 1923, from notion of gas pedal; step out (v.) is from 1907.
Old English steppa (Mercian), stæpe, stepe (West Saxon) "stair, act of stepping," from the source of step (v.). Meaning "action which leads toward a result" is recorded from 1540s. Warning phrase watch your step is attested from 1934. Step-dancing first recorded 1886.
Old English steop-, with connotations of "loss," in combinations like steopcild "orphan," related to astiepan, bestiepan "to bereave, to deprive of parents or children," from Proto-Germanic *steupa- "bereft" (cf. Old Frisian stiap-, Old Norse stjup-, Swedish styv-, Middle Low German stef-, Dutch stief-, Old High German stiof-, German stief-), literally "pushed out," from PIE *steup-, from root *(s)teu- (see steep (adj.)).
Etymologically, a stepfather or stepmother is one who becomes father or mother to an orphan, but the notion of orphanage faded in 20c. For sense evolution, cf. Latin privignus "stepson," related to privus "deprived."
In addition to the idioms beginning with step
- step aside
- step by step
- step down
- step in
- step in the right direction, a
- step into
- step into someone's shoes
- step on it
- step on someone's toes
- step out
- step out of line
- step up
- false step
- in step
- (step) out of line
- take steps
- watch one's step