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 But the city intends to go a step further on behalf of the plant’s employees. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 15 June 2021 One of my friends went one step further and called this extortion. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 14 June 2021 But Brown takes it a step further, detailing not only the experiences of these soldiers, but also their families back in the U.S., as well as other Japanese Americans who fought for their rights at home. Seth Combs Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 June 2021 But the Tribeca Festival took the premiere a step further: ending the event with a full-blown Kiss mini-concert, complete with fireworks, flamethrowers, laser lights and more. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 12 June 2021 Boyle, who came from a Green Bay Packers team that won the most games in the NFC each of the last two years, went a step further. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 11 June 2021 Yet Lamborghini takes things one step further that requires the use of the Tamburo, the Urus’ central drive mode controller. Michael Harley, Forbes, 10 June 2021 On their seventh studio album, No Gods No Masters, the alt-rock trailblazers, driven by the divisive politics and socio-economic issues currently affecting the world, take that candor one step further. Ilana Kaplan, EW.com, 10 June 2021 Vail Resorts, which owns 34 resorts in the United States and Canada, went a step further by requiring reservations. Thomas Peipert, ajc, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Visitors can step back into the Mormon past as a renovated portion of Historic Nauvoo welcomes in-person and virtual tours. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2021 This even-handed approach is step one in hopefully laying the foundation for a lasting, just peace deal. Dean Obeidallah, CNN, 16 May 2021 Ryan said the state closed the boy’s foster case Tuesday, ending the period in which a biological family member can step forward to claim custody. Dallas News, 7 May 2021 Golston's work as an interior rusher at Iowa could provide some late-round value to the Vikings, who might be looking for another player who can step inside on passing downs. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, 28 Apr. 2021 So, how do Gellert and his team decide which issues Patagonia can step into? Fortune, 28 Apr. 2021 Getting a talented receiver who can step into a major role in a year or two while still on a rookie deal is the kind of value every GM wants. Scott Patsko, cleveland, 26 Apr. 2021 The deal signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe on Friday is step one in a process that will play out in coming weeks. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, 23 Apr. 2021 Leaders can now step back and rethink the work itself and ask: Is this work worthwhile and moving us forward? Curt Steinhorst, Forbes, 21 Apr. 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

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Step.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/step. Accessed 17 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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