steppingstone

[ step-ing-stohn ]
/ ˈstɛp ɪŋˌstoʊn /

noun

a stone, or one of a line of stones, in shallow water, a marshy place, or the like, that is stepped on in crossing.
a stone for use in mounting or ascending.
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steppingstone

  • The ships going out of port were such a steppingstone to him, and a vague consciousness came back to him of having been in a ship.

    A Simpleton|Charles Reade