step

noun
\ ˈstep How to pronounce step (audio) \

Definition of step

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a rest for the foot in ascending or descending: such as
a : one of a series of structures consisting of a riser and a tread
b : a ladder rung
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 : stride
c : the sound of a footstep
3a : the space passed over in one step
b : a short distance
c : the height of one stair
4 steps plural : course, way directed his steps toward the river
5a : a degree, grade, or rank in a scale
b : a stage in a process was guided through every step of my career
6 : a frame on a ship designed to receive an upright shaft especially : a block supporting the heel of a mast
7 : an action, proceeding, or measure often occurring as one in a series taking steps to improve the situation
8 : a steplike offset or part usually occurring in a series
9 : the interval between two adjacent notes in a musical scale
11 : a slight lead in or as if in a race has a step on the competition
in step
1 : with each foot moving to the same time as the corresponding foot of others or in time to music
2 : in harmony or agreement
out of step
: not in step out of step with the times

step

verb
stepped; stepping

Definition of step (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to move by raising the foot and bringing it down elsewhere or by moving each foot in succession
b : dance
2a : to go on foot : walk
b obsolete : advance, proceed
c : to be on one's way : leave often used with along
d : to move briskly kept us stepping
3 : to press down with the foot step on the brake
4 : to come as if at a single step stepped into a good job

transitive verb

1 : to take by moving the feet in succession step three paces
2a : to move (the foot) in any direction : set the first man to step foot on the moon
b : to traverse on foot
3 : to go through the steps of : perform step a minuet
4 : to make erect by fixing the lower end in a step step the mast
5 : to measure by steps step off 50 yards
6a : to provide with steps
b : to make steps in step a key
7 : to construct or arrange in or as if in steps craggy peaks with terraces stepped up the sidesTime
step on it
: to increase one's speed : hurry up

Definition of step- (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from step

Noun

steplike \ ˈstep-​ˌlīk How to pronounce step- (audio) \ adjective
stepped \ ˈstept How to pronounce step- (audio) \ adjective

Examples of step in a Sentence

Noun She took one step forward. The baby took her first steps today. I heard steps on the stairs. The edge of the cliff was only about three steps to my left. The cottage is just steps from the beach. He walks with a spring in his step. She walked down the hall with a quick step. a major step towards independence We are taking steps to correct the situation. Verb She stepped onto the bus. They stepped aside to let her pass. Please step away from the door. He stepped outside for a moment. Step in my office for a minute.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joey Votto is moving a step closer to returning to the Cincinnati Reds' lineup. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 1 June 2021 An 86-year-old pedophile former Catholic priest came a step closer to deportation to Ireland when a court on Friday upheld a decision to strip him of his Australian citizenship. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 Davis scored 18 of his 34 points and James added 10 of his 21 in the third quarter, leading the Lakers to a 109-95 win, putting them ahead 2-1 in their first-round series with the Suns, getting the Lakers another step closer to their goal to repeat. Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 The technology moves e-commerce one step closer to eliminating guest checkout altogether. Stacey Widlitz, Forbes, 27 May 2021 But if the Vegas trials are any indication, Musk’s dream appears to be at least one step closer to reality. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 27 May 2021 Texas is a step closer to allowing residents to openly carry handguns in public without a permit or training, becoming the most populous state in the United States to do so. BostonGlobe.com, 26 May 2021 Texas is a step closer to allowing residents to openly carry handguns in public without a permit or training, becoming the most populous state in the United States to do so. Washington Post, 26 May 2021 After getting the Federal Reserve’s blessing this week, Dutch payments company Adyen is one step closer to receiving a U.S. banking license that will enable the fintech startup to expand its services to American merchants. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, 26 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today’s sports geezers appear to be in no rush to step away. Jason Gay, WSJ, 31 May 2021 Lillard said the extra day allowed the players a chance to not only rest but also step away mentally. oregonlive, 27 May 2021 That didn’t mean Lyon was ready to step away from esports completely. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 21 May 2021 Organizations need to step away from Framework and compliance-only cybersecurity towards real-time assessments of people, processes, technology and third party as a standard requirement. Saket Modi, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Workers in low-wage jobs rarely have the luxury of being able to step away for a few hours for a dentist appointment, to pick up a sick child from school or, in this case, get vaccinated. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 May 2021 To describe the intended shift in somewhat reductive terms, then, this new iteration is an effort to step away from the purely psychological and towards the more structural, societal, and sociological. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 11 May 2021 It’s like, easier to blur those boundaries, but also easier to step away for an hour and cook your own meals instead of just like relying on office Chinese food and gaining 40 pounds. Washington Post, 11 May 2021 Sparks eventually filed a complaint with her local sheriff’s office and then made the decision to make her callout videos private and step away from TikTok. NBC News, 1 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'step.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of step

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for step

Noun

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

Combining form

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

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Time Traveler for step

Time Traveler

The first known use of step was before the 12th century

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Statistics for step

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Step.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/step. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for step

step

noun

English Language Learners Definition of step

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

step

verb

English Language Learners Definition of step (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of step- (Entry 3 of 3)

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

step

noun
\ ˈstep How to pronounce step (audio) \

Kids Definition of step

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a movement made by lifting one foot and putting it down in another spot
2 : a rest or place for the foot in going up or down : stair
3 : a combination of foot and body movements in a repeated pattern a dance step
4 : manner of walking a lively step
5 : footprint
6 : the sound of a footstep I heard steps in the hall.
7 : the space passed over in one step The garden was a few steps away.
8 : a short distance The house is only a step away.
9 : the height of one stair
10 steps plural : course entry 1 sense 2 We directed our steps toward home.
11 : one of a series of actions taken to achieve something They took steps to correct the situation.
12 : a stage in a process What's the first step in assembling the toy?
13 : a level, grade, or rank in a scale or series His work was a step above average.
14 : the distance from one tone of a musical scale or one note on a musical staff to another that is one tone away ( half step ) or two tones away ( whole step )

step

verb
stepped; stepping

Kids Definition of step (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move in a particular way or direction by lifting one foot and putting it down in another spot They stepped aside to let me pass.
2 : dance entry 1 sense 1 The couple stepped gracefully together.
3 : to go on foot : walk He stepped slowly along the path.
4 : to move quickly They were really stepping along.
5 : to put or press the foot on or in I stepped on glass. Don't step in the puddle.
6 : to come or move as if at a step by the foot I stepped into a good job.
7 : to measure by steps Step off ten yards.
step up
: to increase the amount, speed, or intensity of The factory stepped up production.

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