step-up

or step·up

[ step-uhp ]
/ ˈstɛpˌʌp /

adjective

effecting an increase.
Electricity. serving to increase voltage: a step-up transformer.
(of a lease) allowing for gradual rent increases to the highest amount permissible.

noun

an increase or rise in the rate or quantity of something.

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advocate

Origin of step-up

First recorded in 1890–95; adj., noun use of verb phrase step up

Definition for step up (2 of 2)

Origin of step

before 900; (v.) Middle English steppen, Old English steppan; cognate with Old High German stepfen; akin to stamp; (noun) Middle English; Old English stepe

OTHER WORDS FROM step

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH step

step steppe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for step up (1 of 4)

step up

verb (adverb) informal

(tr) to increase or raise by stages; accelerate
(intr) to make progress or effect an advancement; be promoted
step up to the plate US
  1. baseball to move into batting position
  2. to come forward and take responsibility for something

adjective step-up (prenominal)

(of a transformer) increasing a low voltage applied to the primary winding to a higher voltage on the secondary windingCompare step down (def. 4)
informal involving a rise by stages

noun step-up

informal an increment in quantity, size, etc

British Dictionary definitions for step up (2 of 4)

step
/ (stɛp) /

noun

verb steps, stepping or stepped

Derived forms of step

steplike, adjective

Word Origin for step

Old English stepe, stæpe; related to Old Frisian stap, stepe, Old High German stapfo (German Stapfe footprint), Old Norse stapi high rock

British Dictionary definitions for step up (3 of 4)

Step
/ (stɛp) /

noun

  1. a set of aerobic exercises designed to improve the cardiovascular system, which consists of stepping on and off a special box of adjustable height
  2. (as modifier)Step aerobics

British Dictionary definitions for step up (4 of 4)

STEP
/ (stɛp) /

n acronym for

Special Temporary Employment Programme
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

Idioms and Phrases with step up (1 of 2)

step up

1

Increase, especially in stages, as in We've got to step up production. [Early 1900s] Also see step down, def. 2.

2

Come forward, as in Step up to the podium, folks, and I'll show you how it works. [Mid-1600s]

Idioms and Phrases with step up (2 of 2)

step

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.