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step - definition and synonyms


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noun     step pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable] a short movement made by putting one foot in front of the other
    take/move a step:

    I am too tired to take another step.

    He moved a step nearer the two men.

    retrace your steps (=go back the same way you came):

    We were lost and decided to retrace our steps.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      the sound that your feet make while you are walking

      I could hear his steps coming closer.

    2. b.
      the short distance that your feet move while you are walking

      The mini-market is just a few steps from my front door.

  2. 2
    [countable] a particular movement or set of movements performed with your feet when you are dancing
    dance step:

    Juan was practicing his new dance steps for the competition.

  3. 3
    [singular] the particular way that someone walks, that sometimes shows how they are feeling
    a spring in your step (=a quick and cheerful attitude in the way you walk):

    He felt fantastic and there was a new spring in his step.

    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [countable] one of a series of actions that you do in order to achieve a particular goal
    step in:

    This new law is the first step in making our city safer.

    step toward:

    This agreement is an important step toward our goal.

    a step along the way/road:

    For Jack, this job was a mere step along the road to power.

    See also right2
  5. 5
    [countable] a flat piece of wood or stone, usually one in a series, that you walk up or down in order to move to a different level

    I met him on the front steps of his house.

    The woman took them down some steps leading to the beach.

    a flight of steps (=a long set of steps):

    I climbed a flight of steep narrow steps.

    the foot of the steps:

    waiting at the foot of the basement steps

  6. 6
    [countable] one of the stages in a process, or one of the levels on a scale
    a step up:

    Her new job is a big step up for her.

    a step up on the pay scale

    be a/one step ahead of someone:

    She was congratulating herself on her intelligence, but he was one step ahead of her.

    repeat a step:

    When you finish the exercise, repeat steps five to ten.

  7. 7
    [countable] music American an amount equal to two half steps by which a musical note is higher or lower than another note
  8. 8
    [countable/uncountable] a type of exercise that you do by quickly moving onto and off a low piece of equipment

    She teaches a step class.

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

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