Definition of steep-to 

: precipitous especially : sloping almost perpendicularly downward used especially of a shore or shoal the north side of the cape is steep-to U.S. Coast Pilot: West Indies found steep-to banks inside against which the ships would have to lie — S. E. Morison

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History and Etymology for steep-to

steep entry 1 + to, adverb

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to enclose within walls

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