step1 W2S2 [step] n
3¦(in a process)¦
8 in step
9 out of step
10 watch your step
11 fall into step (with somebody)
12 be/keep/stay one step ahead (of somebody)
13¦(way somebody walks)¦
14 steps
[: Old English; Origin: stApe]
1.) ¦(MOVEMENT)¦
the movement you make when you put one foot in front of or behind the other when walking
a video of baby's first steps
He took one step and fell.
step back/forwards/towards etc
Tom took a step back and held the door open.
I had to retrace my steps (=go back the way I came) several times before I found the shop.
2.) ¦(ACTION)¦
one of a series of things that you do in order to deal with a problem or to succeed
step in (doing) sth
This is the first step in reforming the welfare system.
step towards
an important step towards peace
The president took immediate steps to stop the fighting.
(major/big/great) step forward
(=an action that makes things better)
The discovery of penicillin was a major step forward in the treatment of infections.
Many teachers see an emphasis on written tests as a step backwards (=an action that makes things worse) .
Environmentalists call the change a step in the right direction (=a good thing to do) .
3.) ¦(IN A PROCESS)¦
a stage in a process, or a position on a scale
Each book goes up one step in difficulty.
Record your result, and go on to step 3.
step in
the next step in the process
Drug companies influence the scientific process every step of the way (=during every stage) .
Describe step by step (=describing each stage) how you went about achieving your goal.
Moving to Cottage Grove represented a definite step up (=something that is better than you had before) for my parents.
He saw the job as a step down (=something that is worse than you had before) .
banister, ↑stair, ↑step
4.) ¦(STAIR)¦
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, especially outside a building
Jenny sat on the step in front of the house, waiting.
He climbed the wooden steps and rang the bell.
a flight of (=set of) broad stone steps
5.) ¦(DISTANCE)¦
the short distance you move when you take a step while walking
= ↑pace
Roy was standing only a few steps away.
6.) ¦(SOUND)¦
the sound you make when you put your foot down while walking
I heard a step in the corridor.
7.) ¦(DANCING)¦
a movement of your feet in dancing
the steps for the Charleston
8.) in step
a) having ideas or actions that are like those of other people
in step with
He isn't in step with ordinary voters.
b) moving your feet so that your right foot goes forward at the same time as people you are walking with
9.) out of step
a) having ideas or actions that are different from those of other people
out of step with
This type of training is out of step with changes in the industry.
b) moving your feet in a different way from people you are walking with
10.) watch your step also mind your step BrE
a) to be careful about what you say or how you behave
You'd better watch your step - he's the boss here.
b) to be careful when you are walking
Mind your step - the railing's loose.
11.) fall into step (with sb)
a) to start walking beside someone at the same speed as them
Maggie fell into step beside her.
b) to start thinking or doing the same as other people
The administration has fallen into step with its European allies on this issue.
12.) be/keep/stay one step ahead (of sb)
a) to be better prepared for something or know more about something than someone else
A good teacher is always at least one step ahead of his students.
b) to manage not to be caught by someone who is trying to find or catch you
13.) ¦(WAY SOMEBODY WALKS)¦ [C usually singular]
the way someone walks, which often tells you how they are feeling
Gianni's usual bouncy step
14.) steps [plural] BrE
15.) ¦(EXERCISE)¦[U]
a type of exercise you do by walking onto and off a flat piece of equipment around 15-30 ↑centimetres high
a step class
16.) ¦(MUSIC)¦ AmE
the difference in ↑pitch between two musical notes that are separated by one ↑key on the piano
British Equivalent: tone
step 2
step2 W3 past tense and past participle stepped present participle stepping
v [I always + adverb/preposition]
1.) to raise one foot and put it down in front of or behind the other one in order to walk or move
step forward/back/down/into etc
He stepped back to let me through.
I stepped outside and closed the door.
Mr. Ives? Please step this way (=walk in the direction I am showing you) .
2.) to bring your foot down on something
British Equivalent: treadstep in/on etc
I accidentally stepped in a puddle.
You're stepping on my foot.
3.) step on sb's toes
to offend or upset someone, especially by trying to do their work
I'm not worried about stepping on anybody's toes.
4.) step out of line
to behave badly by breaking rules or disobeying orders
5.) step on it also step on the gas AmE
spoken to drive faster
step into the breach atbreach1 (7)
step down phr v
to leave your job or official position, because you want to or because you think you should
Morris should step aside until the investigation is completed.
step down as
Eve Johnson has stepped down as chairperson.
step down from
He was forced to step down from his post.
step forward phr v
to come and offer help, information etc
Police are appealing for witnesses to step forward.
step in phr v
to become involved in an activity, discussion, or disagreement, sometimes in order to stop trouble
The military may step in if the crisis continues.
Parents have stepped in to provide homework help in the afternoon program.
step into [step into sth] phr v
to start doing something, or become involved in a situation
Sally stepped into the role of team leader.
step out phr v
to leave your home or office for a short time
British Equivalent: pop out
She's just stepped out for a few minutes.
step up [step sth<=>up] phr v
to increase the amount of an activity or the speed of a process in order to improve a situation
The health department is stepping up efforts to reduce teenage smoking.
stepped-up security at airports

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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