step ( steps plural & 3rd person present) ( stepping present participle) ( stepped past tense & past participle )
1 n-count If you take a step, you lift your foot and put it down in a different place, for example when you are walking.
I took a step towards him..., She walked on a few steps..., He heard steps in the corridor.
2 verb If you stepon something or step in a particular direction, you put your foot on the thing or move your foot in that direction.
This was the moment when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the Moon... V prep/adv
She accidentally stepped on his foot on a crowded commuter train... V prep/adv
3 n-count Steps are a series of surfaces at increasing or decreasing heights, on which you put your feet in order to walk up or down to a different level.
This little room was along a passage and down some steps..., A flight of stone steps leads to the terrace.
4 n-count A step is a raised flat surface in front of a door.
A little girl was sitting on the step of the end house...
5 n-count A step is one of a series of actions that you take in order to achieve something.
oft N prep/adv
He greeted the agreement as the first step towards peace..., She is not content with her present lot and wishes to take steps to improve it...
6 n-count A step in a process is one of a series of stages.
The next step is to put the theory into practice...
7 n-count The steps of a dance are the sequences of foot movements which make it up.
8 n-sing Someone's step is the way they walk.
He quickened his step...
9 If you stay one step ahead of someone or something, you manage to achieve more than they do or avoid competition or danger from them.
one step ahead of phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR
Successful travel is partly a matter of keeping one step ahead of the crowd...
10 If people who are walking or dancing are in step, they are moving their feet forward at exactly the same time as each other. If they are out of step, their feet are moving forward at different times.
in/out of step phrase PHR after v
They were almost the same height and they moved perfectly in step...
11 If people are in stepwith each other, their ideas or opinions are the same. If they are out of stepwith each other, their ideas or opinions are different.
in/out of step phrase usu PHR with n
Moscow is anxious to stay in step with Washington...
12 If you tell someone to step on it, you are telling them to go faster or hurry up.
step on it phrase
(=get a move on)
We've only got thirty-five minutes so step on it.
13 If you do something step by step, you do it by progressing gradually from one stage to the next.
step by step phrase PHR with v, PHR n
I am not rushing things and I'm taking it step by step..., Follow our simple step-by-step instructions.
14 If someone tells you to watch your step, they are warning you to be careful about how you behave or what you say so that you do not get into trouble.
watch your step phrase step aside →
step down step back phrasal verb If you step back and think about a situation, you think about it as if you were not involved in it.
(=stand back) I stepped back and analysed the situation... V P It was necessary to step back from the project and look at it as a whole. V P from n step down , step aside phrasal verb If someone steps down or steps aside, they resign from an important job or position, often in order to let someone else take their place.
(=stand down) Judge Ito said that if his wife was called as a witness, he would step down as trial judge... V P as n Many would prefer to see him step aside in favour of a younger man. V P step in phrasal verb If you step in, you get involved in a difficult situation because you think you can or should help with it.
(=intervene) There are circumstances in which the State must step in to protect children. V P step out phrasal verb If someone steps outof a role or situation, they leave it. I don't regret stepping out of the security of marriage. V P of n, Also V P step up phrasal verb If you step up something, you increase it or increase its intensity.
(=increase) He urged donors to step up their efforts to send aid to Somalia... V P n (not pron)
goose-step ( goose-steps 3rd person present) ( goose-stepping present participle) ( goose-stepped past tense & past participle ) When soldiers goose-step, they lift their legs high and do not bend their knees as they march. verb
...photos of soldiers goose-stepping beside fearsome missiles. V
step change ( step changes plural ) A step change is a sudden or major change in the way that something happens or the way that someone behaves. n-count usu sing, usu N in n
We now need a step change in our secondary schools to match that achieved in our primaries.