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!"

Definitions of step
  1. noun
    the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down
    “he walked with unsteady steps
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    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
  2. noun
    the distance covered by a step
    synonyms: footstep, pace, stride
    see moresee less
    type of:
    indefinite quantity
    an estimated quantity
  3. noun
    the sound of a step of someone walking
    synonyms: footfall, footstep
    see moresee less
    types:
    tramp
    a heavy footfall
    type of:
    sound
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  4. noun
    a mark of a foot or shoe on a surface
    synonyms: footmark, footprint
    see moresee less
    types:
    footprint evidence
    evidence in the form of footprints
    type of:
    mark, print
    a visible indication made on a surface
  5. noun
    a sequence of foot movements that make up a particular dance
    “he taught them the waltz step
    synonyms: dance step
    see moresee less
    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
  6. noun
    a short distance
    “it's only a step to the drugstore”
    synonyms: stone's throw
    see moresee less
    type of:
    small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
  7. verb
    shift or move by taking a step
    step back”
    see moresee less
    types:
    backpedal
    step backwards, in boxing
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  8. verb
    walk a short distance to a specified place or in a specified manner
    step over to the blackboard”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    walk
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
  9. verb
    move with one's feet in a specific manner
    step lively”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  10. verb
    measure (distances) by pacing
    step off ten yards”
    synonyms: pace
    see moresee less
    type of:
    measure, quantify
    express as a number or measure or quantity
  11. verb
    put down or press the foot, place the foot
    step on the brake”
    synonyms: tread
    see moresee less
    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
  12. noun
    relative position in a graded series
    “always a step behind”
    “keep in step with the fashions”
    synonyms: gradation
    see moresee less
    types:
    cut
    a step on some scale
    type of:
    rank
    relative status
  13. noun
    a musical interval of two semitones
    synonyms: tone, whole step, whole tone
    see moresee less
    type of:
    interval, musical interval
    the difference in pitch between two notes
  14. noun
    any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal
    “the police took steps to reduce crime”
    synonyms: measure
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 12 types...
    hide 12 types...
    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
  15. verb
    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”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    move
    go or proceed from one point to another
  16. verb
    cause (a computer) to execute a single command
    see moresee less
    type of:
    execute, run
    carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
  17. noun
    support consisting of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway
    “he paused on the bottom step
    synonyms: stair
    see moresee less
    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
  18. verb
    furnish with steps
    “The architect wants to step the terrace”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    furnish, provide, render, supply
    give something useful or necessary to
  19. noun
    a solid block joined to the beams in which the heel of a ship's mast or capstan is fixed
    see moresee less
    type of:
    block
    a solid piece of something (usually having flat rectangular sides)
  20. verb
    place (a ship's mast) in its step
    see moresee less
    type of:
    lay, place, pose, position, put, set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
  21. verb
    treat badly
    “She is always stepping on others to get ahead”
    synonyms: abuse, ill-treat, ill-use, maltreat, mistreat
    see moresee less
    types:
    kick around
    treat badly; abuse
    type of:
    do by, handle, treat
    interact in a certain way
Word Family