1 /step/ noun
1 MOVEMENT (C) the movement you make when you put one foot in front of the other when walking: With every step my bags seemed heavier. | take a step: Take two steps forward and one step back. | retrace your steps (=go back the way you came) | direct/bend your steps literary (=walk in a particular direction): The sun was setting as he bent his steps towards home.
2 ACTION (C) one of a series of things that you do in order to deal with a problem or to succeed: Dole's first step will be to unite the party.
(+ towards): The talks are an important step towards reconciliation. | take steps (=take action): We must take steps to make sure such an accident can never happen again. | a step forward: The discovery of penicillin was a major step forward in the treatment of infections. | a step in the right direction (=an action that is not complete, but is good as a beginning) | step backward (=something you do that makes a situation worse): Many teachers see an emphasis on written tests as a step backwards in education.
3 STAIR (C) a flat narrow piece of wood or stone, especially one in a series, that you put your foot on when you are going up or down in a building: Jenny waited on the church steps. | flight of steps (=set of steps)
—see also: doorstep 1 (1)
4 IN A PROCESS (C) a stage in a process or a position on a scale: Every year you go up one step on the salary scale. | every step of the way (=continuously during every stage of something): Pam's husband has supported her every step of the way. | a step up: Nina's promotion is quite a step up for one so young.
—compare stage 1 (1)
5 DANCING (C) a movement of your feet in dancing: Wayne's learning the steps for the new routine.
6 mind BrE
/watch your step
a) to be careful about what you say or how you behave: You'll get into trouble if you don't watch your step.
b) to be careful when you are walking: Mind your step - the railing's loose.
7 be/keep in step
a) if people or their ideas are in step, they agree with each other or with what is usual, acceptable etc: Suzie tries to keep in step with fashion.
b) to march with a group of people so that your right feet all go forward at the same time
8 be out of step
a) if people or their ideas are out of step, they are different from the other people in a group: Joshua's out of step with modern life.
b) if someone marching with a group is out of step, they are marching with their right foot going forward at a different time than everyone else
9 SOUND (C) the sound you make when you set your foot down while walking: I heard a step in the corridor.
—compare footstep
10 DISTANCE (C) the short distance you move when you take a step while walking: There's a pub just a few steps down the road.
—compare pace 1 (3)
11 fall into step to walk so that you are putting your right foot forward at the same time as the people you are walking with: Mr. Jones soon fell into step beside her.
12 step by step slowly and gradually from one stage to the next: Adam's learning the rules of chess step by step.
13 be one step ahead to be better prepared for something or know more about something: A good teacher should always be one step ahead of his students.
14 WAY SB WALKS (countable usually singular) the way someone walks, which often tells you how they are feeling: Gianni's usual bouncy step
15 steps (plural) BrE a stepladder
16 EXERCISE (C, U) a type of exercise you do by walking onto and off a flat piece of equipment several inches high, of that piece of equipment itself: Beginners' step class 7 pm.
17 MUSIC (C) AmE the difference in pitch 2 (6) between two musical notes that are separated by one key 2 (4) on the piano; tone 1 (8) BrE
2 verb stepped, stepping (intransitive always + adv/prep)
1 TAKE ONE STEP to raise one foot and put it down in front of the other one
(+ forward/back/down etc): Step aside, let the doctor through.
2 WALK to walk a short distance
(+ inside/outside etc): I stepped into the hall to wait. | step this way (=come the way I am showing you)
3 STAND ON STH to bring your foot down on something; tread 1 (1) BrE
(+ in/on etc): I stepped in a puddle and got my shoes wet.
4 step forward to come and offer help: Police are appealing for witnesses to step forward.
5 step out of line to behave badly by breaking rules or disobeying orders
6 step on it/step on the gas AmE spoken to drive faster: If you don't step on it we'll miss the plane.
7 step lively! BrE spoken used to tell someone to hurry
—see also: step into the breach breach 1 (5) step down also step aside phrasal verb (I) to leave your job or official position: step down as sth: Eve has stepped down as chairperson. | step in favour of sb/sth: Lister is stepping down in favor of a younger man. step in phrasal verb (I) to become involved in a discussion or disagreement, especially in order to stop the trouble; intervene: If the dispute continues, the government will have to step in. step out phrasal verb (I) AmE
1 to go out for a short time: Molly just stepped out but she'll be back soon.
—see also: pop 1 (1)
2 old-fashioned to start walking fast
step sth up phrasal verb (T) to increase the amount of an activity or the speed of a process in order to improve a situation: We will be stepping up production to meet the increased demand.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • step — /stɛp / (say step) noun 1. a movement made by lifting the foot and setting it down again in a new position, as in walking, running, marching, or dancing. 2. the space passed over or measured by one movement of the foot in stepping: *Two short… …   Australian English dictionary

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  • Step — Step, n. [AS. st[ae]pe. See {Step}, v. i.] 1. An advance or movement made by one removal of the foot; a pace. [1913 Webster] 2. A rest, or one of a set of rests, for the foot in ascending or descending, as a stair, or a round of a ladder. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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