American English

Definition of step verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    [intransitive] + adv./prep.Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they step
    he / she / it steps
    past simple stepped
    -ing form stepping
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  1. 1to lift your foot and move it in a particular direction or put it on or in something; to move a short distance to step onto/off a bus I stepped forward when my name was called out. She stepped aside to let them pass. We stepped carefully over the broken glass. I turned around quickly and stepped on his toes. She opened the door and stepped out into the sunshine.
  2. 2(figurative) Entering into this hotel is like stepping back in time.
  3. Idioms
    step into the breach
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    to do someone's job or work when they are suddenly or unexpectedly unable to do it
    step into somebody's shoes
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    to continue a job or the work that someone else has started She stepped into her father's shoes when he retired.
    step on it (informal)
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    used especially in orders to tell someone to drive faster
    step on somebody's toes (informal)
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    to offend or annoy someone, especially by getting involved in something that is their responsibility
    step out of line, be/get out of line
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    to behave badly or break the rules His boss warned him that if he stepped out of line once more he would be fired.
    step up to the plate
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    to do what is necessary in order to benefit from an opportunity or deal with a crisis It's important for world leaders to step up to the plate and honor their commitments on global warming. It's time for businesses to step up to the plate and accept responsibility.
    Phrasal Verbsstep aside/downstep back (from something)step forwardstep instep outstep upstep somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: step