steep·​en ˈstē-pən How to pronounce steepen (audio)
steepened; steepening ˈstē-pə-niŋ How to pronounce steepen (audio)

transitive verb

: to make steeper

Examples of steepen in a Sentence

The path steepened as we approached the summit. A large glacier steepened the side of the mountain.
Recent Examples on the Web The slope of the decline is flattening, not steepening. Brad Hunter, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 From there, Hermano Drive slopes downward, curving left and gradually steepening before snaking right at a precipitous trajectory more reminiscent of a black-diamond ski slope than a suburban neighborhood. Connor Sheets, Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2024 The seating has also been vastly improved: Balcony seats have been arranged at more comfortable angles and the architects have steepened the rake of the auditorium at orchestra level, allowing for improved sightlines — critical for a shorty like me. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 26 Dec. 2023 The city is one of five state capital cities ranked among the top 20 Topeka, Kan., led The Wall Street Journal/ Emerging Housing Markets Index in the third quarter, representing the kind of metro area currently weathering the headwinds of steepening homeownership costs. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for steepen 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'steepen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of steepen was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near steepen

Cite this Entry

“Steepen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


steep·​en ˈstē-pən How to pronounce steepen (audio)
steepened; steepening ˈstēp-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce steepen (audio)
: to make or become steeper
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