\ 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

Blossom Music Center offering new food, drinks LiveNation is stepping up the food offerings at Blossom Music Center, partnering with celebrities and their food ventures. Marc Bona,, "Blossom food, Pizza Palooza, brewery-passport program: WTAM chat," 12 June 2019 So companies are stepping up pay and perks to keep existing workers and attract new ones. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Target expands childcare and paid family leave benefits as retailers battle for talent," 10 June 2019 Instead, schools must step up to design summer-learning supports responsive to community needs. Kelly Chandler-olcott, The Conversation, "What advice articles miss about ‘summer loss’," 10 June 2019 Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is stepping up his campaign to be Britain’s next prime minister by challenging the European Union over Brexit terms. Washington Post, "Boris Johnson to EU: I won’t pay unless deal improved," 10 June 2019 Facing elimination in a hostile environment, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask stepped up for the Bruins once again. Jay Cohen,, "Bruins force Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final with 5-1 win over Blues," 9 June 2019 Orlando Magic reserve center Khem Birch stepped up his game when called upon and played a big role in helping the team secure its first playoff berth since 2012. Roy Parry,, "Magic center Khem Birch raised his game in 2018-19," 9 June 2019 In China, censorship of the internet was stepped up and tight security maintained around Tiananmen Square to prevent any attempt to commemorate the crushing of pro-democracy protests in the square on June 4th 1989. The Economist, "Politics this week," 8 June 2019 Somehow there’s agreement among everyone, kidnappers and victims alike, that Frank should make that call, and within no more than five minutes, Jorges himself, a heavyset DGCIM official, steps up to the car. Annika Hernroth-rothstein, National Review, "I Was Kidnapped in Venezuela," 7 June 2019

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

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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).


showing courage and determination

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