(comparative steeper, superlative steepest)
- Of a near-vertical gradient; of a slope, surface, curve, etc. that proceeds upward at an angle near vertical.
- a steep hill or mountain; a steep roof; a steep ascent; a steep barometric gradient
- (informal) expensive
- Twenty quid for a shave? That's a bit steep.
Old English stÄ“ap (“high"), from Proto-Germanic *staupaz (compare Old Frisian stap, Middle High German *stouf), from Proto-Indo-European *steup- (“to push, stick"). The Proto-Indo-European root (related) has many and varied descendants, including English stub; compare also Scots stap (“to strike, to forcibly insert").
The sense of “sharp slope" is attested circa 1200; the sense “expensive" is attested US 1856.
(third-person singular simple present steeps, present participle steeping, simple past and past participle steeped)
- (intransitive) To soak an item (to be soaked) in liquid in order to gradually add or remove components to or from the item
- They steep skins in a tanning solution to create leather.
- The tea is steeping.
- (intransitive) To imbue with something.
- a town steeped in history
- To make tea (other beverage) by placing leaves in hot water.
(countable and uncountable, plural steeps)
- A liquid used in a steeping process
- Corn steep has many industrial uses.
- A rennet bag.
From Middle English stepen, from Old Norse steypa (“to make stoop, cast down, pour out, cast (metal)") , from Proto-Germanic *staupijanÄ… (“to tumble, make tumble, plunge"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tewb- (“to push, hit"). Cognate with Danish stÃ¸be (“cast (metal)"), Norwegian stÃ¸pe, stÃ¸ype, Swedish stÃ¶pa (“to found, cast (metal)"), Old English stÅ«pian (“to stoop, bend the back, slope"). More at stoop.