Synonyms & Antonyms of steep

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 having an incline approaching the perpendicular
  • a very steep rock face that is nearly impossible to climb

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2 going beyond a normal or acceptable limit in degree or amount
  • we would like to hire him, but his salary demands are just too steep

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Synonyms & Antonyms of steep (Entry 2 of 3)

1 to cause (as a person) to become filled or saturated with a certain quality or principle
  • grew up steeped in the ways of his ancestors
  • a town steeped in history

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2 to wet thoroughly with liquid
  • chew fresh ginger that has been steeped in hot water to aid digestion

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Synonyms & Antonyms of steep (Entry 3 of 3)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About steep

How is the word steep different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of steep are abrupt, precipitous, and sheer. While all these words mean "having an incline approaching the perpendicular," steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult.

a steep hill

a steep dive

When would abrupt be a good substitute for steep?

In some situations, the words abrupt and steep are roughly equivalent. However, abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level.

a beach with an abrupt drop-off

When might precipitous be a better fit than steep?

While in some cases nearly identical to steep, precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical.

the river winds through a precipitous gorge

When is it sensible to use sheer instead of steep?

Although the words sheer and steep have much in common, sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse.

sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers

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Time Traveler for steep

Time Traveler

The first known use of steep was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Steep.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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Dictionary: Definition of steep

Nglish: Translation of steep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steep for Arabic Speakers

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