step

Step right up and learn about the word step, which can be a noun or a verb. When you lift up your foot, move it forward, and put it down, that's a step. You can call the distance you cover in that single movement a step as well.

Each movement in a dance is a step, and so is the sound of feet on the floor: "I heard his heavy step when he went for his midnight snack." A step is also a stair or a ladder's rung, and when you achieve something or make progress, you take steps toward your goal. If you're about to step in gum, your friend might warn, "Watch your step!"

Primary Meanings of step

1.
nv
the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down
shift or move by taking a step
2.
nv
relative position in a graded series
move or proceed as if by steps into a new situation
3.
nv
support consisting of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway
furnish with steps
4.
nv
a solid block joined to the beams in which the heel of a ship's mast or capstan is fixed
place (a ship's mast) in its step
5.
v
treat badly
Full Definitions of step
1

n the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down

“he walked with unsteady steps
Types:
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pace, stride, tread
a step in walking or running
pas
(ballet) a step in dancing (especially in classical ballet)
trip
a light or nimble tread
sidestep
a step to one side (as in boxing or dancing)
footstep
the act of taking a step in walking
Type of:
locomotion, travel
self-propelled movement

n the distance covered by a step

Synonyms:
footstep, pace, stride
Type of:
indefinite quantity
an estimated quantity

n the sound of a step of someone walking

Synonyms:
footfall, footstep
Types:
tramp
a heavy footfall
Type of:
sound
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

n a mark of a foot or shoe on a surface

Synonyms:
footmark, footprint
Types:
footprint evidence
evidence in the form of footprints
Type of:
mark, print
a visible indication made on a surface

n a sequence of foot movements that make up a particular dance

“he taught them the waltz step
Synonyms:
dance step
Types:
moonwalk
a kind of dance step in which the dancer seems to be sliding on the spot
chasse, sashay
(ballet) quick gliding steps with one foot always leading
glissade
(ballet) a gliding or sliding step in ballet
Type of:
locomotion, travel
self-propelled movement

n a short distance

“it's only a step to the drugstore”
Synonyms:
stone's throw
Type of:
small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude

v shift or move by taking a step

step back”
Types:
backpedal
step backwards, in boxing
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v walk a short distance to a specified place or in a specified manner

step over to the blackboard”
Type of:
walk
use one's feet to advance; advance by steps

v move with one's feet in a specific manner

step lively”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

v measure (distances) by pacing

step off ten yards”
Synonyms:
pace
Type of:
measure, quantify
express as a number or measure or quantity

v put down or press the foot, place the foot

step on the brake”
Synonyms:
tread
Types:
step on, tread on
place or press the foot on
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
2

n relative position in a graded series

“always a step behind”
“keep in step with the fashions”
Synonyms:
gradation
Types:
cut
a step on some scale
Type of:
rank
relative status

n a musical interval of two semitones

Synonyms:
tone, whole step, whole tone
Type of:
interval, musical interval
the difference in pitch between two notes

n any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal

“the police took steps to reduce crime”
Synonyms:
measure
Types:
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countermeasure
an action taken to offset another action
porcupine provision, shark repellent
a measure undertaken by a corporation to discourage unwanted takeover attempts
guard, precaution, safeguard
a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage or injury etc.
golden parachute
giving top executives lucrative benefits that must be paid by the acquirer if they are discharged after a takeover
greenmail
(corporation) the practice of purchasing enough shares in a firm to threaten a takeover and thereby forcing the owners to buy those shares back at a premium in order to stay in business
pac-man strategy
the target company defends itself by threatening to take over its acquirer
poison pill
the target company defends itself by making its stock less attractive to an acquirer
safe harbor
the target company defends itself by acquiring a company so onerously regulated that it makes the target less attractive
scorched-earth policy
the target company defends itself by selling off its crown jewels
backstop
a precaution in case of an emergency
security, security measures
measures taken as a precaution against theft or espionage or sabotage etc.
countermine
(military) a tunnel dug to defeat similar activities by the enemy
Type of:
maneuver, manoeuvre, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre
a move made to gain a tactical end

v move or proceed as if by steps into a new situation

“She stepped into a life of luxury”
“he won't step into his father's footsteps”
Type of:
move
go or proceed from one point to another

v cause (a computer) to execute a single command

Type of:
execute, run
carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
3

n support consisting of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway

“he paused on the bottom step
Synonyms:
stair
Types:
corbel step, corbie-step, corbiestep, crow step
(architecture) a step on the top of a gable wall
Type of:
support
any device that bears the weight of another thing

v furnish with steps

“The architect wants to step the terrace”
Type of:
furnish, provide, render, supply
give something useful or necessary to
4

n a solid block joined to the beams in which the heel of a ship's mast or capstan is fixed

Type of:
block
a solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides)

v place (a ship's mast) in its step

Type of:
lay, place, pose, position, put, set
put into a certain place or abstract location
5

v treat badly

“She is always stepping on others to get ahead”
Synonyms:
abuse, ill-treat, ill-use, maltreat, mistreat
Types:
kick around
treat badly; abuse
Type of:
do by, handle, treat
interact in a certain way

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