Basic+ Word of the Day: step

step (noun, verb) past tense: stepped LISTEN

A step is a movement made by lifting the foot and setting down, as in walking.

  • Joan walks at least 10,000 steps every day.
  • The dancers took two steps forward and three steps to the right.

A step is also a stage in a procedure or process.

  • The first step in the program is to admit you have a problem.
  • When preparing food, the first step is to wash your hands.

A step is a place for the foot when going up or down.

  • There were eight steps on the ladder.
  • The steps on the staircase were steep and narrow.

Step means ‘to move in steps.’

  • "If you step over to my desk, I'll show you how to load the software."
  • "Watch where you step. People ride horses on this path."

Common uses

step down: to resign. Example: “The mayor stepped down, because of the scandal.”

step in: to intervene. Example: “The manager stepped in when her assistant could not help their client.”

step out: to leave for a short time. Example: “I need to step out of the meeting to take this phone call.”

In pop culture

Did you ever wonder how women of the 1980s exercised? Watch this ad for Jane Fonda’s Step Aerobic Workout:

There are other meanings of step.

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