[ step-ing-stohn ]

  1. a stone, or one of a line of stones, in shallow water, a marshy place, or the like, that is stepped on in crossing.

  2. a stone for use in mounting or ascending.

  1. any means or stage of advancement or improvement: She looked on the governorship as a steppingstone to the presidency.

Origin of steppingstone

Middle English word dating back to 1275–1325 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use steppingstone in a sentence

  • He would use the thousand pounds as a stepping-stone to legitimate fortune.

  • But, important as this situation is, it is yet only to be considered a stepping-stone to further advancement.

    A Charming Fellow, Volume II (of 3) | Frances Eleanor Trollope
  • Peering into the gloom, the youth saw the top of the next rock which was used as a stepping-stone by other visitors.

    Two Boys in Wyoming | Edward S. Ellis
  • Like many pioneers, it did not achieve practical success itself, but it supplied a stepping stone to further progress.

    Invention | Bradley A. Fiske
  • Marazion is a pleasant little place, but of course its chief interest is as the stepping-stone to St. Michael's Mount.

    The Cornwall Coast | Arthur L. Salmon

British Dictionary definitions for stepping stone

stepping stone

  1. one of a series of stones acting as footrests for crossing streams, marshes, etc

  2. a circumstance that assists progress towards some goal

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