Meaning of STEP in English


I. ˈstep noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English step, steppe, from Old English stæpe, stepe; akin to Old Frisian stap, stepe step, footstep, Old High German stapf, stapfo step, footstep, Old English stæppan, steppan to step — more at step (v.)

1. : something to put the foot on in ascending or descending:

a. : one of a flight of stairs consisting of a riser and a tread


(1) : a rung of a ladder

(2) : a flat crosspiece of a stepladder

c. : a flat projecting or projectable footpiece for entering or alighting from a vehicle

d. : a foothold cut in a slope of earth, rock, or ice


a. : an advance or movement made by raising the foot and bringing it down in a different position

took two steps toward the door and stopped

b. : a combination of foot or of foot, leg, and body movements constituting a simple unit or a pattern that is repeated

dancing … with such coincidence of step and gesture as only years of training could render possible — Lafcadio Hearn

c. : a pace in military drill — often used in combination

goose step

d. : manner of walking : stride

came in with his light lithe step — Adria Langley

e. : a mark or impression made by the foot : footprint

steps leading across the beach and disappearing at the water's edge

f. : the sound of a footstep

heard his step on the stairs


a. : the space passed over by the movement of one foot beyond the other in walking

twelve steps or more from my mother's door — William Wordsworth


(1) : a short distance

a store located just a step from the bank

(2) : a distance for walking

lives a good step down the road

c. obsolete : a short journey

resolved to take a step to Paris for my health — Jonathan Swift

d. : the vertical distance of one of a set of stairs

built the kitchen two steps lower than the dining room

4. steps plural : progress by or as if by walking : course , way

vengeance tend upon thy steps — Shakespeare

directed his steps toward the river


a. : a degree, grade, or rank in a scale

a step higher in the social scale

rose several steps in my opinion

b. : a stage in a gradual, regular, or orderly process

achieve the initial step in this ambitious plan — Mason Wade

guided her through every step of her career — Jerry Cotter

c. : promotion to the next higher grade or rank

trusted you would get the step within … twelve months — Sir Walter Scott

d. : any one of a graded series of photographic exposures or tones


a. : a wood or metal frame on a ship designed to receive an upright shaft ; especially : a block supporting the heel of a mast

b. : the lower bearing block on which a vertical shaft revolves

c. : one of the halves of a split-bearing bushing

7. : an action, proceeding, or measure often occurring as one in a series

took the unusual step of personally remonstrating with the president — W.C.Ford

took steps toward securing the mouth of the river against Spain — American Guide Series: Louisiana

8. : pace with or as if with another

two friends kept step beside me — A.E.Housman

9. : a steplike offset or part usually occurring in a series ; specifically : one of the series of parts of a cone pulley on which the belt runs

10. steps plural : stepladder

from the early 18th century, library steps were in use — J.E.Gloag


a. : a musical scale or staff degree

b. : the interval between two contiguous degrees of the staff or scale

c. : whole step


a. : a steplike shoulder or bench on an otherwise smoothly rising hillside or slope : one of a series of terraces rising from a valley floor

b. : a steplike shelf or ledge in the vertical surface of a quarry or mine working

13. : a change in direction in a line, a surface, or the construction of a solid body ; specifically : a break in the form of the bottom of a float or hull of a seaplane that is designed to reduce resistance when under way by rapidly reducing the wetted surfaces as speed increases and that serves to eliminate suction effect and improve longitudinal control in takeoff


a. : a change of place due to a motion of translation

b. : the translation that effects such a step

- in step

- on the step

- out of step

II. verb

( stepped or archaic stept -pt ; stepped or archaic stept ; stepping ; steps )

Etymology: Middle English steppen, stepen, stapen, from Old English stæppan, steppan; akin to Old Frisian stapa, steppa to step, Middle Dutch stappen, Old High German stapfōn, stepfen to step, Old Norse stappa to pound, stamp — more at stamp

intransitive verb


a. : to move in any direction by raising the foot and bringing it down in a different position or by moving each foot in succession : move the feet (as in walking)

walked … to the barn and stepped into the saddle — Will Cook

hunters … step over the dead animal — J.G.Frazer

stepped ashore at the ferry landing — Louis Bromfield

stepped off the curb and started walking down the hill — Dorothy Baker

stepped out on deck to cool himself — E.K.Gann

stepped down from the ladder

step aside to let the doctor pass

the referee stepped between the two boxers

b. : dance

the girl can really step


a. : to go on foot : walk

what, you are stepping westward — Dorothy Wordsworth

please step to the telephone

stepped down to the corner for a newspaper

b. obsolete : to move forwrd : advance , proceed

I am in blood stepped in so far — Shakespeare

c. : to go or be on one's way : depart — often used with along

well, I must step along now

d. : to move at a brisk or lively pace

they kept us stepping all right — W.L.Gresham


a. : to put the foot down : tread

step on a rusty nail

b. : to press down with the foot

step on the brake


a. : to come as if at a single step

stepped into a fortune when his father died

step into a good job

b. obsolete : to enter suddenly and in a rash or thoughtless manner

in hot blood hath stepped into the law — Shakespeare

5. : to stand erect with the lower end fixed in a step

the foremast steps abaft the forecastle

transitive verb

1. : to take by moving the feet in succession

rose and stepped three paces — Rudyard Kipling


a. : to move (the foot) in any direction : set , place

the first man who stepped foot on the enemy's soil — S.G.W.Benjamin

b. : to move over or travel across on foot : traverse

proud too … of stepping this famous pavement — Virginia Woolf

deer step the highways — Grace H. Flandrau

3. : to go through the steps of : perform

step a minuet

4. : to make erect by fixing the lower end in a step

a small pole stepped in a block of wood served as a mast — Bernard DeVoto

5. : to measure by steps

have stepped more ground … than any man in the country — Samuel Lover

— often used with off or out

step off 50 yards

6. : to provide or furnish with steps : make steps in

step a key

7. : to construct or arrange in or as if in steps : build in steps

was … stepped to ensure that the winter rains did not wash the whole lot into the sea — Brendan Maguire

the house is stepped down the slope — Siegfried Giedion

craggy peaks with terraces stepped up the sides — Time

- step on it

III. noun

or step aerobics also step training

: a form of aerobics that involves repeatedly stepping on and off a raised platform

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.