\ ˈstep-ˌəp How to pronounce step-up (audio) \

Definition of step-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an increase or advance in size or amount

step up

stepped up; stepping up; steps 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 How to pronounce step-up (audio) \ 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

Shipowners generally step up scrapping when the cost of operating vessels or idling and maintaining them outweighs the price of scrap metal. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Sliding Freight Rates Send More Big Bulk Ships to Scrapyards," 12 Apr. 2019 Romance writer Jasmine Guillory happily stepped up to the task, and has written the heartwarming story of Vivian Forest. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "A Romance Novel Based on Meghan Markle's Mother, Doria Ragland, Really is Coming Soon," 12 Apr. 2019 From venturing in the Colorado backcountry to building a surfboard on the coast of Maine, Huckberry has stepped up its Explorer’s Grant program for 2019. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Vote for Huckberry's Explorer’s Grant and Win Your Chance to Go on a Wild Adventure," 26 Mar. 2019 Weber hopes that the government will step up to protect the area, which is designated as a reserve. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "A Brazilian Modeling Superstar Makes a Life-Changing Journey Into the Amazon," 7 Mar. 2019 The artists step up their game to create some incredible hair styles, incorporating everything from flowers to feathers into their looks. Erika Trombley, Seventeen, "This "Descendants 3" and "American Beauty Star" Crossover Episode Is To Die For," 20 Feb. 2019 Luckily, the Middleton family have stepped up to offer the perfect suggestion—how about treating yourself to the actual apartment that Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and her sister, Pippa Middleton, used to live in? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate and Pippa Middleton's Old London Apartment Is Up for Sale, if You Have a Spare $2.5 Million," 10 Dec. 2018 After her father, King Felipe, read the Constitution's preamble, the Princess stepped up to the podium. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Spain's 13-Year-Old Princess Leonor Makes Her First Public Speech," 31 Oct. 2018 This is devastatingly harmful to the environment, unsurprisingly, which is why several travel companies and destinations have stepped up to reduce their output by eliminating single-use plastics (e.g. straws). Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "All of the Travel Companies and Places Phasing Out Single-Use Plastics," 13 July 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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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

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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).


having no equal

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