\ˈstep-ˌəp \

Definition of step-up 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an increase or advance in size or amount

step up


Definition of step up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to increase (a voltage) by means of a transformer

2 : to increase, augment, or advance especially by one or more steps step up production

intransitive verb

1a : to come forward stepped up to claim responsibility

b : to succeed in meeting a challenge (as by increased effort or improved performance)

2 : to undergo an increase business is stepping up

3 : to receive a promotion

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Other Words from step-up


step-up \ˈstep-​ˌəp \ adjective

Examples of step-up in a Sentence


candidates stepping up their campaigns as election day draws near stepped up the pace to catch up with the others

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Retailers also are stepping up their this year, with merchants including Inc., Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. offering two-day shipping, often without extra charges, to more shoppers. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "E-Commerce Companies Get Creative in Quest for ‘Last Mile’ Space," 9 Dec. 2018 With Chrome 71, Google is stepping up its fight against the internet’s abusive ads problem by blocking every ad on a site that persistently shows them. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Chrome will soon ad-block an entire website if it shows abusive ads," 5 Nov. 2018 Now, Gabriel is stepping up to defend his former friend in the Thomas Halbert/Jeffree Star feud that's currently raging on Twitter. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Gabriel Zamora Slams Thomas Halbert and Manny 'MUA' Gutierrez in Tell-All Snapchat Video Following Jeffree Star Feud," 17 Oct. 2018 Fortunately, Kim said, some companies are stepping up on issues like education, medicine and climate change. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Big data could ‘stop famines from ever happening again,’ says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim," 24 Sep. 2018 By the season 2 finale, Cheryl was stepping up to accept her new position of power with the Serpents and Toni was right by her side. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Creator Shares a Sneak Peak of Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz from Season 3," 3 Aug. 2018 Now, the doughnut chain is stepping up its game to celebrate Independence Day with the re-release of the Freedom Ring Doughnut at participating outposts in the United States and Canada. Southern Living, "WATCH: We're Very Excited for These Fourth of July Krispy Kreme Doughnuts," 29 June 2018 The number of people over the age of 65 is expected to reach 86 million in 2050, and many young people are already stepping up., "Not An Entitled Millennial: How 4 Young Women Support Their Whole Families," 27 June 2018 Today in Brexit: As lawmakers in the U.K. are trying to stop a no-deal scenario, the EU is stepping up its own contingency plans. Emma Ross-thomas,, "Brexit Bulletin: The Threat of No Deal," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'step-up.' 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-up


1922, in the meaning defined above


1902, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for step-up

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Time Traveler for step-up

The first known use of step-up was in 1902

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More Definitions for step-up



English Language Learners Definition of step-up

: an increase in size or amount

More from Merriam-Webster on step-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for step-up

Comments on step-up

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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