From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstepstep1 /step/ ●●● S2 W1 noun 1 movement [countable]WALK the movement you make when you put one foot in front of or behind the other when walking a video of baby’s first steps He took one step and fell.step back/forwards/towards etc Tom took a step back and held the door open. I had to retrace my steps (=go back the way I came) several times before I found the shop.2 action [countable]DO something/TAKE ACTIONPROGRESS one of a series of things that you do in order to deal with a problem or to succeedstep in (doing) something This is the first step in reforming the welfare system.step to do something The president took immediate steps to stop the fighting.step towards an important step towards peace3 in a process [countable]PROGRESS a stage in a process, or a position on a scale Each book goes up one step in difficulty. Record your result, and go on to step 3.step in the next step in the process Drug companies influence the scientific process every step of the way (=during every stage). Describe step by step (=describing each stage) how you went about achieving your goal. Moving to Cottage Grove represented a definite step up (=something that is better than you had before) for my parents. He saw the job as a step down (=something that is worse than he had before).4 stair [countable]TBB a flat narrow piece of wood or stone, especially one in a series, that you put your foot on when you are going up or down, especially outside a building Jenny sat on the step in front of the house, waiting. He climbed the wooden steps and rang the bell. a flight of (=set of) broad stone steps → doorstep1(1)5 distance [countable]NEAR the short distance you move when you take a step while walking syn pace Roy was standing only a few steps away.6 sound [countable]SOUND the sound you make when you put your foot down while walking syn footstep I heard a step in the corridor.7 dancing [countable]APDDANCE a movement of your feet in dancing the steps for the Charleston8 → in step9 → out of step10 → watch your step11 → fall into step (with somebody)12 → be/keep/stay one step ahead (of somebody)13 way somebody walks [countable usually singular]WALK the way someone walks, which often tells you how they are feeling Gianni’s usual bouncy step14 → steps15 exercise [uncountable]DSO a type of exercise you do by walking onto and off a flat piece of equipment around 15–30 centimetres high a step class16 music [countable] American EnglishAPM the difference in pitch between two musical notes that are separated by one key on the piano syn tone British EnglishCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: one of a series of things that you do in order to deal with a problem or to succeedverbstake a stepThe authority will take steps to reunite the child and his family.adjectivesan important/major/big stepThe move is seen as a major step forward for UK firms.the first stepThe first step in resolving conflict is to understand what the other person wants.the next stepHe met in Washington with his campaign advisers to plan his next step.a small stepThis is a small step in the right direction.a positive step (=an action that will have a good effect)This is a positive step which gives cause for some optimism.an unusual/unprecedented step (=something that is not usually done/has never been done before)Police last night took the unusual step of releasing photographs of him.a drastic stepThe government is wary of taking any drastic steps that would scare off foreign investment.a bold stepWe welcome the bold step taken by President Bush.a tentative step (=a small action, which is not done in a very determined way)The Institute has taken a tentative step towards opening up its meetings to the public.a logical stepShe felt she had an aptitude for medicine. Her next logical step would be to begin studying when the summer was over.immediate stepsWe believe immediate steps could be taken to generate jobs.reasonable stepsThey must take reasonable steps to ensure that this information is available to those who might benefit.necessary stepsWe must be sure that we are taking the necessary steps to prevent the problem from getting a foothold here.phrasesa step forward (=an action that makes things better)The declaration which we have just signed is a big step forward for both of our nations.a step backwards/a backward step (=an action that makes things worse)A rationing system would be a major step backwards.a step in the right direction (=an action that helps to improve things)Environmentalists said the law was a step in the right direction.
Examples from the Corpusstep• Completing your degree would move you up a step on the salary scale.• a beginners' step class• Of course, starting the job-search is always a big step.• Her first big step towards a career in movies was her move to Hollywood.• Tom and Marge caught the gondola from the church steps to San Marco, and walked from there to the Gritti.• I was so breathless, I could only manage a few steps.• Identifying the cause of a disease must always be the first step towards finding a cure.• The first step towards achieving peace in the region will be to elect a government that represents all the people.• Nelson was no more than four or five steps away.• The discovery of penicillin was a gigantic step in the treatment of infections.• Sal quickened his steps toward the hotel.• Re-thinking our management techniques would be an important step in the right direction.• The new law on drunk driving is being seen as a major step forward.• I would watch my step if I were you.• Baker said his next step will be to demand a new trial.• Now that we've identified the problem, what's the next step?• The next step will be to make the pasta sauce.• Continue for as long as possible and record the number of steps.• Have visual and verbal behaviours out of step with each other.• The thieves slipped the Torah scroll from the case and left the metal decoration on steps near the synagogue.• The doctors say I'll make a full recovery, but I'm going to have to take it one step at a time.• He took a quick step backward.• Marge could hear a man's steps in the hall.• She walked briskly, with quick, short steps.• I can't remember all the steps.• Louie wailed, bolting off the steps into his house.• When he came up the steps on to the terrace, most of his child followers had fallen away.• Ellen ran up the steps and banged on the door.took ... step• In this same year the Athenians took a fateful step in internal policy.• Long before that, however, Adams's company took a bold step forward.• The following day Charlie managed a little food, took a few painful steps the day after and could run a week later.• Grimma took another step forward and caught it a backward thump across the muzzle.• He took another step and found himself stopped again.• John Ramsey and his wife, Patricia, almost immediately took steps that appeared designed to protect themselves from possible prosecution.• The law took these steps but unexpectedly postponed them to the year 2000.• In the summer, the two sides took the unprecedented step in the Warsaw Pact of recalling their two ambassadors.step in (doing) something• That's why large companies often fall and small companies step in.• Employee involvement represents Ford's first step in the long-term renegotiation of the psychological contract between the individual worker and the company.• Getting her breathing in some other way would be a major step in her rehabilitation.• The preliminary step in both reactions involves the hydrolysis of triglyceride to glycerol and fatty acids.• Brad Gillis of Night Ranger stepped in to finish the tour.• Simon stepped in after they met at Barcelona.• They are becoming increasingly concerned that governments are about to step in unless they act first.• When to step in Still, there are situations where companies should consider stepping in, human resources officials say.every step of the way• Health problems have plagued him almost every step of the way.• At every step of the way, some fractional increase in lung area will be an advantage.• Pam has been very careful about expenses every step of the way.• The other girls were giggling every step of the way.• At Adkin we pride ourselves on giving you that help every step of the way.• Particular attention should be paid to the lower spine and leg muscles - they remember every step of the way.• He's been by her side every step of the way.• I climbed up to the second story of Mrs James's house sighing every step of the way.• Fabia was conscious of Ven every step of the way, but tried her hardest to concentrate her thoughts elsewhere.climbed ... steps• He hurried ahead, climbed the steps and pushed past twenty pairs of knees.• As he turned on the attic lights and climbed the creaking steps, he smelled it more distinctly than before.• As I climbed the steps my palms began to sweat.• I climbed the steps to the Ahronsons' apartment and rang the bell.• Mike climbed the steps without speaking, and unloaded his cameras and camera bag on a mat.• She climbed the rickety steps set into the hillside and got up to the porch of the Katz house.• Mark wearily climbed the steps of number 89, and let himself in.