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step definition

Overview

This page has 35 definitions of step with English translations in 8 languages. Step is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use step in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: STEP, štep, stęp, and step-

English step definition

Two steps [2] of a stairs

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English steppen, from Old English steppan (to step, go, proceed, advance), stepe (step), from Proto-West Germanic *stappjan, from Proto-Germanic *stapjaną (to step), *stapiz (step), from Proto-Indo-European *stab- (to support, stomp, curse, be amazed).

Cognate with West Frisian stappe (to step), North Frisian stape (to walk, trudge), Dutch stappen (to step, walk), Walloon steper (to walk away, leave), German stapfen (to trudge, stomp, plod) and further to Slavic Polish stąpać (to stomp, stamp, step, tread), Russian ступать (stupatʹ) and Polish stopień (step, stair, rung, degree), Russian степень (stepenʹ). Related to stamp, stomp.

Noun

step (plural steps)

  1. An advance or movement made from one foot to the other; a pace.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:step.
  2. A rest, or one of a set of rests, for the foot in ascending or descending, as a stair, or a rung of a ladder.
    • 1624, Sir Henry Wotton, The Elements Of Architecture
      The breadth of every single step or stair should be never less than one foot.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 122:
      Through the open front door ran Jessamy, down the steps to where Kitto was sitting at the bottom with the pram beside him.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:step.
  3. A distinct part of a process; stage; phase.
    He improved step by step, or by steps.
    The first step is to find a job.
  4. A running board where passengers step to get on and off the bus.
    The driver must have a clear view of the step in order to prevent accidents.
  5. The space passed over by one movement of the foot in walking or running.
    One step is generally about three feet, but may be more or less.
  6. A small space or distance.
    It is but a step.
  7. A print of the foot; a footstep; a footprint; track.
  8. A gait; manner of walking.
    The approach of a man is often known by his step.
  9. Proceeding; measure; action; act.
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, Preface to his collection of poems
      The reputation of a man depends on the first steps he makes in the world.
    • c. 1792, William Cowper, The Needless Alarm
      Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.
    • 1879, George Washington Cable, Old Creole Days
      I have lately taken steps [] to relieve the old gentleman's distresses.
    • 2019, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Moon has also requested that government officials take additional steps to help fight pollution, his spokesman said.
      (file)
  10. (in the plural) A walk; passage.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Conduct my steps to find the fatal tree.
  11. (in the plural) A portable framework of stairs, much used indoors in reaching to a high position.
  12. (nautical) A framing in wood or iron which is intended to receive an upright shaft; specifically, a block of wood, or a solid platform upon the keelson, supporting the heel of the mast.
  13. (machines) One of a series of offsets, or parts, resembling the steps of stairs, as one of the series of parts of a cone pulley on which the belt runs.
  14. (machines) A bearing in which the lower extremity of a spindle or a vertical shaft revolves.
  15. (music) The interval between two contiguous degrees of the scale.
    Usage note: The word tone is often used as the name of this interval; but there is evident incongruity in using tone for indicating the interval between tones. As the word scale is derived from the Italian scala, a ladder, the intervals may well be called steps.
  16. (kinematics) A change of position effected by a motion of translation.
    • 1878, William Kingdon Clifford, Elements of Dynamic: An Introduction to the Study of Motion
      A change of position effected by a motion of translation will be called a step.
  17. (programming) A constant difference between consecutive values in a series.
    Printing from 0 to 9 with a step of 3 will display 0, 3, 6 and 9.
Synonyms
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

step (third-person singular simple present steps, present participle stepping, simple past stepped or (dated) stept or (obsolete) stope, past participle stepped or (dated) stept)

  1. (intransitive) To move the foot in walking; to advance or recede by raising and moving one of the feet to another resting place, or by moving both feet in succession.
    • 2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly):
      A “moving platform” scheme [] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays.
  2. (intransitive) To walk; to go on foot; especially, to walk a little distance.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      Some days later it happened that young Heriotside was stepping home over the Lang Muir about ten at night, it being his first jaunt from home since his arm had mended.
    to step to one of the neighbors
  3. (intransitive) To walk slowly, gravely, or resolutely.
  4. To dance.
    • 2013, Calvin Vraa, The Last Pathway Home, page 179:
      At arms length with left hands clasped they moved back where facing each other they stepped in time to their dance embrace.
    • 2013, Jean Fullerton, Call Nurse Millie:
      She clapped, but instead of walking her back to the table, Alex took her hand and pulled her gently towards him, slipping his arm around her waist again and stepping her off on the first beat of the next dance.
    • 2017, Christine Schimpf, A Christmas Kind of Perfect:
      He stepped to the beat of one of their favorite songs.
    • 2018, Paula Poundstone, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, page 180:
      He put on a tame version of the 1960s song “The Letter,” wrapped his right arm around my waist, raised my right hand, draped it over his left, and we stepped, stepped, and back stepped to the beat.
  5. (intransitive, figuratively) To move mentally; to go in imagination.
  6. (transitive) To set, as the foot.
    • 2010, Charles E. Miller, Winds of Mercy: 40 Short Stories (page 219)
      One of the women, Elsie, stepped her foot inside to help the woman.
  7. (transitive, nautical) To fix the foot of (a mast) in its step; to erect.
    • 1898, Joseph Conrad, Youth
      We put everything straight, stepped the long-boat's mast for our skipper, who was in charge of her, and I was not sorry to sit down for a moment.
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2

Clipping of stepsibling.

Noun

step (plural steps)

  1. (slang) A stepsibling.
    • 2016, Robert M. Herzog, A World Between:
      So for Richard and Barbara, Jeff and Kari, the impossibly varied collection of steps and halves that is another legacy of my father.

See also

Further reading

  • step in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • step at OneLook Dictionary Search.

Anagrams


Czech step definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun

step f

  1. steppe
Declension

Etymology 2

From English step.

Noun

step m inanimate

  1. tap dance
Declension

Further reading

  • step in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
  • step in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989

Dutch step definition

Etymology

Borrowed from English step (footrest on a bicycle).

Pronunciation

Noun

step f (plural steps, diminutive stepje n)

  1. kick scooter
    Synonyms: autoped, trottinette
  2. (dated) A mounting bracket on a bicycle.

Derived terms

Descendants

  • Papiamentu: stèp

Indonesian step definition

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /s(ə)tɛp/
  • Hyphenation: stèp

Etymology 1

From English step, from Middle English steppen, from Old English steppan (to step, go, proceed, advance), stepe (step), from Proto-Germanic *stapjaną (to step), *stapiz (step), from Proto-Indo-European *stab- (to support, stomp, curse, be amazed).

Noun

stèp (first-person possessive stepku, second-person possessive stepmu, third-person possessive stepnya)

  1. step; pace, gait.

Etymology 2

From Dutch stuip (convulsion), from Middle Dutch stūpe, stupen, stuypen (convulsion, literally to duck, to bend down), from Old English stupian (to stoop, bend over) (compare to English stoop (to bend)), from Old Norse stúpa, from Proto-Germanic *stūpōną, *stūpijaną (to stand out), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tewb- (to push, butt, knock). Doublet of setip.

Noun

stèp (first-person possessive stepku, second-person possessive stepmu, third-person possessive stepnya)

  1. (colloquial, medicine) convulsion.
    Synonyms: kejang, konvulsi, sawan
Alternative forms

Further reading


Middle English step definition

Noun

step

  1. Alternative form of steppe

Polish step definition

Etymology

Borrowed from Ukrainian степ (step).

Pronunciation

Noun

step m inan

  1. (often in the plural) steppe

Declension

Further reading

  • step in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • step in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian step definition

Etymology

From English step.

Noun

step n (uncountable)

  1. (dance) tap dance

Declension


Spanish step definition

Etymology

Unadapted borrowing from English step.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈstep/, [ˈst̪ep]
  • IPA(key): /esˈtep/, [esˈt̪ep]

Noun

step m (uncountable)

  1. step training

Usage notes

According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.