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
Definition for step (2 of 2)
Origin of step-
Examples from the Web for step
Plenty of conservative commentators have said he should step down from his leadership position.
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|John Avlon|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|Aurora Snow|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The train was already in motion as she tried to step inside, and her body was crushed beneath it.
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|Olivia Nuzzi|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Cammock's hand flew to his belt, he took a step forward, his face suffused with passion.The Wild Geese|Stanley John Weyman
This early moment of his life proved to be its crisis, and the first step he took decided his after-progress.Calamities and Quarrels of Authors|Isaac Disraeli
The words were so intense, so spontaneous and unexpected, that Loder took a step back.The Masquerader|Katherine Cecil Thurston
One step; oh, that is a blessed message I bring to you—it is only one step.The Master's Indwelling|Andrew Murray
For miles through the woods evidences of the terrible conflict meet one at every step.The Citizen-Soldier|John Beatty
British Dictionary definitions for step (1 of 4)
- marching, dancing, etc, in conformity with a specified pace or moving in unison with others
- informal in agreement or harmony
- not moving in conformity with a specified pace or in accordance with others
- informal not in agreement; out of harmony
- informal to conduct oneself with caution and good behaviour
- to walk or move carefully
verb steps, stepping or stepped
Word Origin for step
British Dictionary definitions for step (2 of 4)
- 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
British Dictionary definitions for step (3 of 4)
n acronym for
British Dictionary definitions for step (4 of 4)
Word Origin for step-
Word Origin and History for step (1 of 3)
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.
Word Origin and History for step (1 of 3)
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.
Word Origin and History for step (2 of 3)
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."
Idioms and Phrases with step
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