step down

stepped down; stepping down; steps down

Definition of step down

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to withdraw from one's position or occupation : retire, resign League commissioner Pete Rozelle … announced his intention to step down after 29 years on the job—his retirement becomes effective upon selection of a successor …— Richard Demak and Jerry Kirshenbaum … the general would step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution.— Brian Duffy et al.

transitive verb

1 : to lower (a voltage) by means of a transformer … voltages as high as two hundred and thirty thousand volts … which were carried by high-voltage power lines from generating plants, were being stepped down by large transformers to thirteen thousand volts …— Paul Brodeur
2 : to decrease or reduce (something) especially by one or more steps As This Old House's plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey points out, the installer has to carefully step down the size of the ducts so there's even air pressure at all the room outlets.— Scott Gibson


\ ˈstep-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce step-down (audio) \
variants: or step down or less commonly stepdown
plural step-downs or step downs also stepdowns

Definition of step-down (Entry 2 of 3)

: a decrease or reduction (as in size or amount) and especially one that is gradual or incremental a dosage step-down After several months of heavy investments, Amazon said it expects coronavirus-related costs to decelerate. … [Amazon CFO Brian] Olsavsky attributed the step down in Covid costs to a shift in volume.— Annie Palmer That tax credit was scheduled to expire in 2019 but will now expire in 2025, with stepdowns toward the end of the program.Alaska Dispatch News



Definition of step-down (Entry 3 of 3)

1 electrical engineering : serving to decrease voltage a step-down transformer
2 medical : providing or offering a reduced level of care or service step-down drug rehab programs specifically : providing an intermediate level of care and monitoring especially for patients transitioning out of intensive care a cardiac step-down unit … a portable, mechanical driver that can power patients' artificial hearts and enable them to recover outside the hospital environment, including at home and at step-down facilities. — Anne Buckley

Examples of step down in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mayor Michelle Wu, who has endorsed Arroyo in the primary, stopped short of calling for Hayden’s resignation when asked Monday by reporters whether the district attorney should step down. Andrew Ryan,, 8 Aug. 2022 Bloomberg on Friday reported that Fanning will step down by the end of the year, and that Southern Co. has begun a search to replace him. John Archibald |, al, 3 Aug. 2022 On August 2, the company announced Saylor would step down as CEO after three decades at the helm to take the role of executive chairman. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 Many Democrats expect the longtime leader to step down at the end of this year, so her time to travel as second in line to the presidency and leader of the House is likely ending. Joyu Wang, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 On Monday, the company announced CEO Sonia Syngal would step down after less than three years. Allison Morrow, CNN, 13 July 2022 Roche chief executive Severin Schwan will step down next March and has been nominated as chair, after 15 years at the helm of one of the world’s biggest drugmakers by revenue, The Financial Times says. Ed Silverman, STAT, 23 July 2022 Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta will step down as chairman once the company completes its initial public offering, the grocery delivery company said Friday. Denny Jacob, WSJ, 22 July 2022 Activision Blizzard employees have walked out five times over the course of a year, in protest of a vaccine mandate being lifted, in response to layoffs and to demand their CEO step down. Shannon Liao, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of step down


1875, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1905, in the meaning defined above


1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of step down was in 1875

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Step down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for step down


\ ˈstep-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce step-down (audio) \

Medical Definition of step-down

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: providing or offering a reduced level of care or service step-down drug rehab programs specifically : providing an intermediate level of care and monitoring especially for patients transitioning out of intensive care Our group practice rotates us in 3-week stints through various critical and step-down units. The Journal of the American Medical Association


variants: or step down

Medical Definition of step-down (Entry 2 of 2)

: a decrease or reduction in size or amount a dosage step-down

More from Merriam-Webster on step down

Nglish: Translation of step down for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of step down for Arabic Speakers


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