or step·up

[ step-uhp ]
/ ˈstɛpˌʌp /
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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.


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



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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of step-up

First recorded in 1890–95; adj., noun use of verb phrase step up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for step-up

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
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

step up


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


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

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