Definitions for: Step

[n] any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal; "the situation called for strong measures"; "the police took steps to reduce crime"
[n] the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down; "he walked with unsteady steps"
[n] a sequence of foot movements that make up a particular dance; "he taught them the waltz step"
[n] support consisting of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway; "he paused on the bottom step"
[n] a mark of a foot or shoe on a surface; a clue that someone was present; "the police made casts of the footprints in the soft earth outside the window"
[n] a musical interval of two semitones
[n] the sound of a step of someone walking; "he heard footsteps on the porch"
[n] the distance covered by a step; "he stepped off ten paces from the old tree and began to dig"
[n] a short distance; "it's only a step to the drugstore"
[n] relative position in a graded series; "always a step behind"; "subtle gradations in color"; "keep in step with the fashions"
[v] take a step
[v] put down the foot, place the foot; "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread"

Webster (1913) Definition: Step, n. (Fives)
At Eton College, England, a shallow step dividing the court
into an inner and an outer portion.

Step, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Stepped; p. pr. & vb. n.
Stepping.] [AS. st[ae]ppan; akin to OFries. steppa, D.
stappen to step, stap a step, OHG. stepfen to step, G. stapfe
a footstep, OHG. stapfo, G. stufe a step to step on; cf. Gr.
? to shake about, handle roughly, stamp (?). Cf. Stamp, n.
& a.]
1. To move the foot in walking; to advance or recede by
raising and moving one of the feet to another resting
place, or by moving both feet in succession.

2. To walk; to go on foot; esp., to walk a little distance;
as, to step to one of the neighbors.

3. To walk slowly, gravely, or resolutely.

Home the swain retreats, His flock before him
stepping to the fold. --Thomson.

4. Fig.: To move mentally; to go in imagination.

They are stepping almost three thousand years back
into the remotest antiquity. --Pope.

To step aside, to walk a little distance from the rest; to
retire from company.

To step forth, to move or come forth.

To step in or into.
(a) To walk or advance into a place or state, or to
advance suddenly in.

Whosoever then first, after the troubling of the
water, stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever
disease he had. --John v. 4.
(b) To enter for a short time; as, I just stepped into the
(c) To obtain possession without trouble; to enter upon
easily or suddenly; as, to step into an estate.

To step out.
(a) (Mil.) To increase the length, but not the rapidity,
of the step, extending it to thirty-tree inches.
(b) To go out for a short distance or a short time.

To step short (Mil.), to diminish the length or rapidity of
the step according to the established rules.

Step, v. t.
1. To set, as the foot.

2. (Naut.) To fix the foot of (a mast) in its step; to erect.

To step off, to measure by steps, or paces; hence, to
divide, as a space, or to form a series of marks, by
successive measurements, as with dividers.

Step, n. [AS. st[ae]pe. See Step, v. i.]
1. An advance or movement made by one removal of the foot; a

2. A rest, or one of a set of rests, for the foot in
ascending or descending, as a stair, or a round of a

The breadth of every single step or stair should be
never less than one foot. --Sir H.

3. The space passed over by one movement of the foot in
walking or running; as, one step is generally about three
feet, but may be more or less. Used also figuratively of
any kind of progress; as, he improved step by step, or by

To derive two or three general principles of motion
from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the
properties and actions of all corporeal things
follow from those manifest principles, would be a
very great step in philosophy. --Sir I.

4. A small space or distance; as, it is but a step.

5. A print of the foot; a footstep; a footprint; track.

6. Gait; manner of walking; as, the approach of a man is
often known by his step.

7. Proceeding; measure; action; an act.

The reputation of a man depends on the first steps
he makes in the world. --Pope.

Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, Live
till to-morrow, will have passed away. --Cowper.

I have lately taken steps . . . to relieve the old
gentleman's distresses. --G. W. Cable.

8. pl. Walk; passage.

Conduct my steps to find the fatal tree. --Dryden.

9. pl. A portable framework of stairs, much used indoors in
reaching to a high position.

10. (Naut.) In general, a framing in wood or iron which is
intended to receive an upright shaft; specif., a block of
wood, or a solid platform upon the keelson, supporting
the heel of the mast.

11. (Mach.)
(a) One of a series of offsets, or parts, resembling the
steps of stairs, as one of the series of parts of a
cone pulley on which the belt runs.
(b) A bearing in which the lower extremity of a spindle
or a vertical shaft revolves.

12. (Mus.) The intervak between two contiguous degrees of the

Note: The word tone is often used as the name of this
interval; but there is evident incongruity in using
tone for indicating the interval between tones. As the
word scale is derived from the Italian scala, a ladder,
the intervals may well be called steps.

13. (Kinematics) A change of position effected by a motion of
translation. --W. K. Clifford.

Back step, Half step, etc. See under Back, Half, etc.

Step grate, a form of grate for holding fuel, in which the
bars rise above one another in the manner of steps.

To take steps, to take action; to move in a matter.

Step- [AS. ste['o]p-; akin to OFries. stiap-, stiep-, D.
& G. stief-, OHG. stiuf-, Icel. stj?p-, Sw. styf-, and to AS.
[=a]st[=e]pan, [=a]ste['o]pan, to deprive, bereave, as
children of their parents, OHG. stiufen.]
A prefix used before father, mother, brother, sister, son,
daughter, child, etc., to indicate that the person thus
spoken of is not a blood relative, but is a relative by the
marriage of a parent; as, a stepmother to X is the wife of
the father of X, married by him after the death of the mother
of X. See Stepchild, Stepdaughter, Stepson, etc.

Synonyms: dance step, footfall, footmark, footprint, footstep, footstep, gradation, measure, pace, stair, stone's throw, stride, tone, tread, whole step, whole tone

See Also: backpedal, chasse, clew, clue, corbel step, corbiestep, corbie-step, countermeasure, crow step, cue, cut, footstep, glissade, go, goose step, hoofing, indefinite quantity, interval, locomote, locomotion, maneuver, manoeuvre, mark, moonwalk, move, musical interval, pace, pas, porcupine provision, precaution, rank, riser, safeguard, sashay, shark repellent, sidestep, small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity, sound, staircase, stairs, stairway, step dancing, step on, step out, steps, stride, support, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre, tramp, travel, travel, tread, tread, tread on, trip

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