- The definition of a step is the act of placing one foot in front of the other, or one part of a process.
- An example of a step is one stair in a staircase.
- An example of a step is the first part in a scientific experiment.
- To step is defined as to move by foot.
An example of to step is to place a foot on a path.
- the act of moving and placing the foot forward, backward, sideways, up, or down, as in walking, dancing, or climbing
- the distance covered by such a movement
- [pl.] the path covered by a series of such movements: to retrace one's steps
- a short distance
- a manner of stepping; gait
- any of various paces or strides in marching: the goose step
- a sequence of movements in dancing, usually repeated in a set pattern
- the sound of stepping; tread; footfall
- a mark or impression made by stepping; footprint
- a rest for the foot in climbing; specif.,
- any of the parts of a stairway formed by a tread supported by a riser
- the tread itself
- a stairway
- Brit. a stepladder
- something resembling a stair step; specif.,
- a bend or angle, as in a supply pipe, for passing around an obstruction
- a shelf or ledge cut in mining or quarrying
- Naut. a raised frame or platform for supporting the butt end of a mast
- any of a series of angled surfaces on the underside of the hull of a hydroplane or seaplane
- a degree; rank; level; stage: one step nearer victory
- any of a series of acts, processes, etc.: explain the next step
- a degree of the staff or scale
- the interval between two consecutive degrees
Origin of stepMiddle English steppe from Old English stepe, akin to German stapf from Indo-European base an unverified form steb(h)-, post (from source stamp): basic sense “to stamp feet”
intransitive verbstepped, step′ping
- to move by executing a step or steps
- to walk, esp. a short distance: step outside
- to move with measured steps, as in dancing
- to move quickly or briskly: often with along
- to come or enter (into a situation, condition, etc.): to step into a fortune
- to put the foot down (on or in something)
- to press down with the foot (on something): to step on the brake
Origin of stepME steppen < OE steppan
- to take (one or more strides or paces)
- to set (the foot) down
- to move across or over on foot
- to execute the steps of (a dance)
- to measure by taking steps: usually with off: step off ten paces
- to provide with steps; specif., to arrange in a series of degrees or grades: to step tests
- Naut. to set and fix (a mast) in its step
- conforming to a rhythm or cadence as in marching or dancing; esp., conforming to the cadence of another marcher or other marchers
- in conformity or agreement
out of step
step by step
- gradually or slowly
- by marking or noting, or by explaining, each stage in a process
- to resign or abdicate (from an office, position, etc.)
- to decrease or reduce, as in rate, by or as by one or more steps, or degrees
step on it
- to leave a room or building for a short time
- to start to walk briskly, esp. with long strides
- Informal to go out for a good time
- Informal to be unfaithful to: with on
- to go or come near; approach
- to advance or progress
- to increase or raise, as in rate, by or as by one or more steps, or degrees
- Informal step up to the plate (sense ) (see phrase below)
step up to the plate
- Baseball to take one's position in the batter's box
- Informal to meet one's responsibility or challenge; rise to the occasion
watch one's step
- to exercise care in walking or stepping
- Informal to be careful or cautious
Origin of step-Middle English from Old English steop-, orphaned (akin to German stief-, Old Norse stjup-) from base of stiepan, to bereave, probably from Indo-European an unverified form (s)teub-, to strike (hence “cut off”) from source stump, steep: origin, originally used of orphaned children
- a. The single complete movement of raising one foot and putting it down in another spot, as in walking.b. A manner of walking; a particular gait.c. A fixed rhythm or pace, as in marching: keep step.d. The sound of a footstep.e. A footprint: steps in the mud.
- a. The distance traversed by moving one foot ahead of the other.b. A very short distance: just a step away.c. steps Course; path: turned her steps toward home.
- One of a series of rhythmical, patterned movements of the feet used in a dance: diagrammed the basic steps to the mambo.
- a. A rest for the foot in ascending or descending.b. steps Stairs.c. Something, such as a ledge or an offset, that resembles a step of a stairway.d. A low platform used for exercise, as in step aerobics.
- a. One of a series of actions, processes, or measures taken to achieve a goal.b. A stage in a process: followed every step in the instructions.
- A degree in progress or a grade or rank in a scale: a step up in the corporate hierarchy.
- Music a. The interval that separates two successive tones of a scale.b. A degree of a scale.
- Nautical The block in which the heel of a mast is fixed.
verbstepped, step·ping, steps
- To put or press the foot: step on the brake.
- To shift or move slightly by taking a step or two: step back.
- To walk a short distance to a specified place or in a specified direction: step over to the corner.
- To move with the feet in a particular manner: step lively.
- To move into a new situation by or as if by taking a single step: stepping into a life of ease.
- To treat someone with arrogant indifference: He is always stepping on other people.
- To put or set (the foot) down: step foot on land.
- To measure by pacing: step off ten yards.
- To furnish with steps; make steps in: terraces that are stepped along the hillside.
- Computers To cause (a computer) to execute a single instruction.
- Nautical To place (a mast) in its step.
Origin of stepMiddle English from Old English stæpe, stepe
Origin of step-Middle English from Old English stēop-
(third-person singular simple present steps, present participle stepping, simple past stepped, stept (dated), or stope (obsolete), past participle stepped, stept (dated), or stopen (obsolete))
- (intransitive) To move the foot in walking; to advance or recede by raising and moving one of the feet to another resting place, or by moving both feet in succession.
- (intransitive) To walk; to go on foot; especially, to walk a little distance.
- to step to one of the neighbors
- (intransitive) To walk slowly, gravely, or resolutely.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To move mentally; to go in imagination.
- To set, as the foot.
- (nautical) To fix the foot of (a mast) in its step; to erect.
- An advance or movement made from one foot to the other; a pace.
- A rest, or one of a set of rests, for the foot in ascending or descending, as a stair, or a rung of a ladder.
- A running board where passengers step to get on and off the bus.
- The driver must have a clear view of the step in order to prevent accidents.
- The space passed over by one movement of the foot in walking or running. Used also figuratively of any kind of progress.
- One step is generally about three feet, but may be more or less. He improved step by step, or by steps.
- A small space or distance.
- It is but a step.
- A print of the foot; a footstep; a footprint; track.
- A gait; manner of walking.
- The approach of a man is often known by his step.
- Proceeding; measure; action; act.
- (plural) A walk; passage.
- (plural): A portable framework of stairs, much used indoors in reaching to a high position.
- (nautical) A framing in wood or iron which is intended to receive an upright shaft; specif., a block of wood, or a solid platform upon the keelson, supporting the heel of the mast.
- (machines) One of a series of offsets, or parts, resembling the steps of stairs, as one of the series of parts of a cone pulley on which the belt runs
- (machines) A bearing in which the lower extremity of a spindle or a vertical shaft revolves.
- (music) The interval between two contiguous degrees of the scale.
- (kinematics) A change of position effected by a motion of translation. - William Kingdon Clifford
From Middle English steppen, from Old English steppan (“to step, go, proceed, advance"), stepe (“step"), from Proto-Germanic *stapjanÄ… (“to step"), *stapiz (“step"), from Proto-Indo-European *stÃb-, *stÃbÊ°-, *stemb-, *stembÊ°- (“to support, stomp, curse, be amazed"). Cognate with West Frisian stappe (“to step"), North Frisian stape (“to walk, trudge"), Dutch stappen (“to step, walk"), German stapfen (“to trudge, stomp, plod"). Related to stamp, stomp.
- A prefix used before father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, child, and so forth, to indicate that the person being identified is not a blood relative but is related through the marriage of a parent.
From Middle English step-, from Old English stÄ“op- (“deprived of a relative, step-", prefix), from Proto-Germanic *steupa- (“orphaned, step-"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teup- (“to push, strike"). Cognate with Scots step- (“step-"), West Frisian stiep- (“step-"), Dutch stief- (“step-"), Low German steef- (“step-"), German stief- (“step-"), Swedish styv- (“step-"), Icelandic stjÃºp- (“step-"). Related to Old English stÄ«epan (“to deprive, bereave").