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
Related Words for step outrejoice, bask, pound, patrol, parade, move, file, traipse, proceed, space, boot, tramp, progress, stomp, strut, promenade, step, journey, tread, advance
verb (intr, adverb)
- 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
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.
Walk briskly, as in He stepped out in time to the music. [c. 1800]
Also, step outside. Go outside briefly, as in He just stepped out for a cigarette. [First half of 1500s]
Go out for an evening of entertainment, as in They're stepping out again tonight.
step out with. Accompany or consort with a person as when going on a date, as in She's been stepping out with him for a month. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
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