Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

step

play
noun \ˈstep\

Simple Definition of step

  • : a movement made by lifting your foot and putting it down in a different place

  • : the sound of a foot making a step

  • : the distance covered in one step; also : a short distance

Full Definition of step

  1. 1 :  a rest for the foot in ascending or descending: asa :  one of a series of structures consisting of a riser and a treadb :  a ladder rung

  2. 2a (1) :  an advance or movement made by raising the foot and bringing it down elsewhere (2) :  a combination of foot or foot and body movements constituting a unit or a repeated pattern <a dance step> (3) :  manner of walking :  strideb :  footprint 1c :  the sound of a footstep

  3. 3a :  the space passed over in one stepb :  a short distancec :  the height of one stair

  4. 4 plural :  course, way <directed his steps toward the river>

  5. 5a :  a degree, grade, or rank in a scaleb :  a stage in a process <was guided through every step of my career>

  6. 6 :  a frame on a ship designed to receive an upright shaft; especially :  a block supporting the heel of a mast

  7. 7 :  an action, proceeding, or measure often occurring as one in a series <taking steps to improve the situation>

  8. 8 :  a steplike offset or part usually occurring in a series

  9. 9 :  an interval in a musical scale

  10. 10 :  step aerobics

  11. 11 :  a slight lead in or as if in a race <has a step on the competition>

step·like play \-ˌlīk\ adjective
stepped play \ˈstept\ adjective
in step
  1. 1 :  with each foot moving to the same time as the corresponding foot of others or in time to music

  2. 2 :  in harmony or agreement

out of step
  1. :  not in step <out of step with the times>

Examples of step

  1. She took one step forward.

  2. The baby took her first steps today.

  3. I heard steps on the stairs.

  4. The edge of the cliff was only about three steps to my left.

  5. The cottage is just steps from the beach.

  6. He walks with a spring in his step.

  7. She walked down the hall with a quick step.

  8. a major step towards independence

  9. We are taking steps to correct the situation.



Origin of step

Middle English, from Old English stæpe; akin to Old High German stapfo step, stampfōn to stamp


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Architecture Terms

Rhymes with step


2

step

verb

Simple Definition of step

  • : to move in a specified direction by lifting your foot and putting it down in a different place : to move somewhere by walking

  • : to put your foot down

Full Definition of step

steppedstep·ping

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1a :  to move by raising the foot and bringing it down elsewhere or by moving each foot in successionb :  dance

  3. 2a :  to go on foot :  walkb obsolete :  advance, proceedc :  to be on one's way :  leave —often used with alongd :  to move briskly <kept us stepping>

  4. 3 :  to press down with the foot <step on the brake>

  5. 4 :  to come as if at a single step <stepped into a good job>

  6. transitive verb
  7. 1 :  to take by moving the feet in succession <step three paces>

  8. 2a :  to move (the foot) in any direction :  set <the first man to step foot on the moon>b :  to traverse on foot

  9. 3 :  to go through the steps of :  perform <step a minuet>

  10. 4 :  to make erect by fixing the lower end in a step <step the mast>

  11. 5 :  to measure by steps <step off 50 yards>

  12. 6a :  to provide with stepsb :  to make steps in <step a key>

  13. 7 :  to construct or arrange in or as if in steps <craggy peaks with terraces stepped up the sides — Time>

step on it
  1. :  to increase one's speed :  hurry up

Examples of step

  1. She stepped onto the bus.

  2. They stepped aside to let her pass.

  3. Please step away from the door.

  4. He stepped outside for a moment.

  5. Step in my office for a minute.



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of step

before 12th century


step-

combining form

Simple Definition of step-

  • —used to describe family relationships that are created when a person who already has a child marries someone who is not the child's parent

Full Definition of step-

  1. :  related by virtue of a remarriage (as of a parent) and not by blood <stepparent> <stepsister>

Origin of step-

Middle English, from Old English stēop-; akin to Old High German stiof- step-, Old English astēpan to deprive, bereave




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up step? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez kittly-benders spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ