or step·up

[ step-uhp ]
/ ˈstɛpˌʌp /
Save This Word!

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.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

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. 2022

How to use step-up in a sentence

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

Other 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.