\ˈstep-ˌəp \

Definition of step-up 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an increase or advance in size or amount

step 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 \ 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

Thank you very much Glamour, but thanks to all women who are finally stepping up and making their voices heard bc that voice has been missing throughout my life. Glamour, "97-Year-Old Betty Reid Soskin: 'I Helped to Create the Future I'm Privileged to Now Be Living In'," 12 Nov. 2018 The numbers dropped in 2015 but rose again the following year when the Department of Homeland Security stepped up raids targeting families, according to the Pew Research Center. John Maines,, "Families crossing border by the thousands," 22 June 2018 Timing is everything, of course, and the 2018 Eclipse Cross is a different and distinct offering at a time when motorists are stepping up for these sit-high small SUVs over traditional sedans. Mark Maynard,, "2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Forever young," 22 June 2018 As well as being involved financially, Priyanka will also step up as an adviser to the tech firm, which relies on women sending that awkward first message, in time for the Indian launch. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra Is Now A Partner, Advisor and Investor in Major Dating App Bumble," 4 Oct. 2018 Great versus supernal Almost all buyers will be stepping up to the TPR from something less-good—less precise, less moddable, less solid, less well-built. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Thrustmaster TPR: The best flight sim pedals you can buy in a store like a normal person," 23 Sep. 2018 On Sunday night’s Alaskan Bush People, Rain is stepping up, in a big way. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Rain Brown Takes on a Surprising New Job on ‘Alaskan Bush People’," 16 Sep. 2018 Manganaro truly did step up and in a big way, saving a man's life. Chris Flanagan, ajc, "Rookie firefighter saves man suffering from heart attack on flight," 11 July 2018 In their place, singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis is stepping up to the plate to fill their slot on the bill for those two performances. Alessandra Rincón, Billboard, "Beck Adds Jenny Lewis as Special Guest to New York and Philadelphia Tour Dates," 10 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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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

More from Merriam-Webster on step-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for step-up

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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