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 steppingtread, dance, skip, tiptoe, stride, walk, advance, traipse, ambulate, descend, ascend, mince, pace, prance, hoof, trip, troop
Examples from the Web for stepping
Contemporary Examples of stepping
Peters again complies, stepping aside and raising both hands.
But in the next instant, Peters is stepping back to the table and snatching up the knife.
Good old Sir Bob Geldof stepping into the breach again to raise money for crisis-hit Africa?Do They Know It’s Time to Stop Band Aid?
November 22, 2014
Her wealthy family imposed its own monetary and social punishment for stepping outside the sorority.Stepford Sororities: The Pressures of USC’s Greek Life
Maya Richard Craven
November 17, 2014
By stepping down, the embattled McCaffery preempted an ethics investigation that could have cost him his state pension.Judges Behaving Badly: A Great American Tradition
October 30, 2014
Historical Examples of stepping
Stepping into the store, he attracted the attention of the proprietor.Brave and Bold
Stepping out into the hall she knocked lightly on Evelyn's door.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
It was not a tree with which he was familiar, and stepping back, he looked at it carefully.Her Father's Daughter
He turned to where I trembled, and stepping downward crowned me.Buried Cities, Part 2
Mary had thrown her shawl over her head, and was just stepping out.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
- 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.
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