step up to the plate

idiomatic phrase

: to move into position next to home plate in order to bat
In April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson stepped up to the plate for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in New York City.Nelida Gonzalez Cutler
often used figuratively in U.S. English to refer to showing readiness to meet a challenge (as by increased effort or improved performance)
If you want this promotion, you're going to have to step up to the plate.
"The mother either needs to continue to be the disciplinarian or get the father to step up to the plate and be a team player."Barbara Lewin

Examples of step up to the plate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Major donors to the U.N. system should step up to the plate to make sure more resources are being targeted to achieve gender equality in official climate meetings, both for COPs and for constituted body sessions. Catherine McKenna, Scientific American, 8 Nov. 2022 Now the show is finally ready to step up to the plate, with Amazon Prime Video releasing a teaser trailer and announcing a premiere date of Aug. 12. Devan Coggan,, 7 June 2022 The question is: if the price gets down there, will enough of them step up to the plate? John Navin, Forbes, 25 Sep. 2021 In the coming weeks, Tituss Burgess, Lil Jon and Wells Adams will step up to the plate. Dory Jackson,, 31 Aug. 2021 Grandma’s son definitely needs a different attorney, one who can step up to the plate. cleveland, 21 Sep. 2020 But Scott Mulhauser, a veteran Senate staffer and former aide to Biden, said McConnell needs to step up to the plate. Maureen Groppe, The Courier-Journal, 9 May 2023 Imperial Valley landowners need to step up to the plate — and threatening funding for the Salton Sea creates political leverage over them. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2023 Or can another team in the Three Rivers League step up to the plate? oregonlive, 31 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'step up to the plate.' 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

1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of step up to the plate was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near step up to the plate

Cite this Entry

“Step up to the plate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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