WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
in•step /ˈɪnˌstɛp/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Anatomythe arched, upper surface of the human foot.
  2. Clothingthe part of a shoe, stocking, etc., covering this surface.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
in•step  (instep′),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Anatomythe arched upper surface of the human foot between the toes and the ankle.
  2. Clothingthe part of a shoe, stocking, etc., covering this surface.
  3. the front of the hind leg of a horse, cow, etc., between the hock and the pastern joint;
  • apparently in-1 + step 1520–30

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
step /stɛp/USA pronunciation   n., v.,  stepped, step•ping. 
n. [countable]
  1. a movement made by lifting the foot and setting it down again in a new position, as in walking:He took a few steps to the right.
  2. the space passed over by one such movement:The edge is just a few steps to your left.
  3. the sound made by the foot in making such a movement:I heard steps outside in the hallway.
  4. a mark made by the foot on the ground;
    a footprint:Look at the steps someone has left in the soft mud.
  5. a manner of stepping;
    stride:She has a heavy step when she walks.
  6. steps, [plural] movements or course in stepping or walking:We were lost, so we decided to retrace our steps.
  7. any of a series of stages in a process or in achieving some goal:the five steps to success.
  8. a support for the foot in ascending or descending:the steps of a ladder; We sat on the porch steps.

  1. to move in steps:[no object]She stepped lightly out the door.
  2. to walk, esp. for a short distance:[no object]Step over to my office.
  3. to put the foot down;
    tread:[no object]Don't step on the grass.
  4. step down, [no object]
    • to lower or decrease by degrees.
    • to give up one's authority;
      resign:He finally stepped down when it was clear that he had no support.
  5. step in, [no object] to become involved;
    intervene:The United Nations was asked to step in.
  6. step on, [+ on + object] to press with the foot, as on a lever or spring, in order to operate some mechanism:He stepped on the gas (pedal) and the car zoomed away.
  7. step out, [no object] to leave a place, esp. for a short time:Ms. Jones has just stepped out of the office for a moment.
  8. step up: 
    • [+ up + object] to raise by degrees:We have stepped up our efforts to recruit more teachers.
    • [no object] to be promoted;
      advance:He stepped up quickly through the ranks.
  1. Idiomsin (or out of ) step: 
    • in (or not in) time to a beat, as while marching together:The marching band couldn't stay in step when they made turns.
    • in (or not in) harmony or agreement with others:He's out of step with the rest of the scientific community.
  2. Idiomsstep by step, gradually;
    by stages:We made progress step by step.
  3. Idiomsstep on it or on the gas, [Informal.]to move more quickly;
    hurry:Step on it or we'll be late.
  4. Idiomstake steps, to employ necessary actions:What steps have you taken to prevent future catastrophes?
  5. Idiomswatch one's step, to proceed with caution:You'd better watch your step in that part of town.

step•per, n. [countable]

step-, prefix. 
  • step- is attached to words to name a member of a family related by the remarriage of a parent and not by blood:When my father married his second wife, she already had a son who became my stepbrother.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    step (step),USA pronunciation  n., v.,  stepped, step•ping. 

    1. a movement made by lifting the foot and setting it down again in a new position, accompanied by a shifting of the weight of the body in the direction of the new position, as in walking, running, or dancing.
    2. such a movement followed by a movement of equal distance of the other foot:The soldier took one step forward and stood at attention.
    3. the space passed over or the distance measured by one such movement of the foot.
    4. the sound made by the foot in making such a movement.
    5. a mark or impression made by the foot on the ground;
    6. the manner of walking;
    7. pace in marching:double-quick step.
    8. a pace uniform with that of another or others, or in time with music.
    9. steps, movements or course in walking or running:to retrace one's steps.
    10. a move, act, or proceeding, as toward some end or in the general course of some action;
      stage, measure, or period:the five steps to success.
    11. rank, degree, or grade, as on a vertical scale.
    12. a support for the foot in ascending or descending:a step of a ladder; a stair of 14 steps.
    13. a very short distance:She was never more than a step away from her children.
    14. a repeated pattern or unit of movement in a dance formed by a combination of foot and body motions.
    15. Music and Dance
      • a degree of the staff or of the scale.
      • the interval between two adjacent scale degrees;
        second. Cf.  semitone, whole step. 
    16. British Termssteps, a stepladder.
    17. an offset part of anything.
    18. Nautical, Naval Termsa socket, frame, or platform for supporting the lower end of a mast.
    19. Mininga flat-topped ledge on the face of a quarry or a mine working.
    20. break step, to interrupt or cease walking or marching in step:The marching units were allowed to break step after they had passed the reviewing stand.
    21. in step: 
      • moving in time to a rhythm or with the corresponding step of others.
      • in harmony or conformity with:They are not in step with the times.
    22. keep step, to keep pace;
      stay in step:The construction of classrooms and the training of teachers have not kept step with population growth.
    23. out of step: 
      • not in time to a rhythm or corresponding to the step of others.
      • not in harmony or conformity with:They are out of step with the others in their group.
    24. step by step: 
      • from one stage to the next in sequence.
      • gradually and steadily:We were shown the steelmaking process step by step.
    25. take steps, to set about putting something into operation;
      begin to act:I will take steps to see that your application is processed.
    26. watch one's step, to proceed with caution;
      behave prudently:If she doesn't watch her step, she will be fired from her job.

    1. to move, go, etc., by lifting the foot and setting it down again in a new position, or by using the feet alternately in this manner:to step forward.
    2. to walk, or go on foot, esp. for a few strides or a short distance:Step over to the bar.
    3. to move with measured steps, as in a dance.
    4. to go briskly or fast, as a horse.
    5. to obtain, find, win, come upon, etc., something easily and naturally, as if by a mere step of the foot:to step into a good business opportunity.
    6. to put the foot down;
      tread by intention or accident:to step on a cat's tail.
    7. to press with the foot, as on a lever, spring, or the like, in order to operate some mechanism.

    1. to take (a step, pace, stride, etc.).
    2. to go through or perform the steps of (a dance).
    3. Music and Danceto move or set (the foot) in taking a step.
    4. to measure (a distance, ground, etc.) by steps (sometimes fol. by off or out).
    5. to make or arrange in the manner of a series of steps.
    6. Nautical, Naval Termsto fix (a mast) in its step.
    7. step down: 
      • to lower or decrease by degrees.
      • to relinquish one's authority or control;
        resign:Although he was past retirement age, he refused to step down and let his son take over the business.
    8. step in, to become involved;
      intervene, as in a quarrel or fight:The brawl was well under way by the time the police stepped in.
    9. Informal Termsstep on it, to hasten one's activity or steps;
      hurry up:If we don't step on it, we'll miss the show.
    10. step out: 
      • to leave a place, esp. for a brief period of time.
      • to walk or march at a more rapid pace.
      • to go out to a social gathering or on a date:We're stepping out tonight.
    11. step up: 
      • to raise or increase by degrees:to step up production.
      • to be promoted;
      • to make progress;
    stepless, adj. 
    steplike′, adj. 
    • bef. 900; (verb, verbal) Middle English steppen, Old English steppan; cognate with Old High German stepfen; akin to stamp; (noun, nominal) Middle English; Old English stepe

  • a prefix denoting connection between members of a family by the remarriage of a parent and not by blood:stepbrother.
    • Middle English; Old English stēop-; cognate with German stief-, Old Norse stjūp- step-; akin to Old English āstēpan to bereave, bestēpan to deprive (of children)

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    instep /ˈɪnˌstɛp/ n
    1. the middle section of the human foot, forming the arch between the ankle and toes
    2. the part of a shoe, stocking, etc, covering this
    Etymology: 16th Century: probably from in-² + step

    step /stɛp/ n
    1. the act of motion brought about by raising the foot and setting it down again in coordination with the transference of the weight of the body
    2. the distance or space covered by such a motion
    3. the sound made by such a movement
    4. the impression made by such movement of the foot; footprint
    5. the manner of walking or moving the feet; gait: he received his prize with a proud step
    6. a sequence of foot movements that make up a particular dance or part of a dance: I have mastered the steps of the waltz
    7. any of several paces or rhythmic movements in marching, dancing, etc: the goose step
    8. (plural) a course followed by a person in walking or as walking: they followed in their leader's steps
    9. one of a sequence of separate consecutive stages in the progression towards some goal: another step towards socialism
    10. a rank or grade in a series or scale: he was always a step behind
    11. an object or device that offers support for the foot when ascending or descending
    12. (plural) a flight of stairs, esp out of doors
    13. (plural)
      another name for stepladder
    14. a very short easily walked distance: it is only a step to my place
    15. a melodic interval of a second
    16. an offset or change in the level of a surface similar to the step of a stair
    17. a strong block or frame bolted onto the keel of a vessel and fitted to receive the base of a mast
    18. a ledge cut in mining or quarrying excavations
    19. break stepto cease to march in step
    20. in stepmarching, dancing, etc, in conformity with a specified pace or moving in unison with others
    21. informal in agreement or harmony
    22. keep stepto remain walking, marching, dancing, etc, in unison or in a specified rhythm
    23. out of stepnot moving in conformity with a specified pace or in accordance with others
    24. informal not in agreement; out of harmony
    25. step by stepwith care and deliberation; gradually
    26. take stepsto undertake measures (to do something) with a view to the attainment of some end
    27. watch one's stepinformal to conduct oneself with caution and good behaviour
    28. to walk or move carefully
    vb (steps, stepping, stepped)
    1. (intransitive) to move by raising the foot and then setting it down in a different position, transferring the weight of the body to this foot and repeating the process with the other foot
    2. (intr; often followed by in, out, etc) to move or go on foot, esp for a short distance: step this way, ladies
    3. (intransitive) informal chiefly US to move, often in an attractive graceful manner, as in dancing: he can really step around
    4. (intr; usually followed by on or upon) to place or press the foot; tread: to step on the accelerator
    5. (intransitive) usually followed by into: to enter (into a situation) apparently with ease: she stepped into a life of luxury
    6. (transitive) to walk or take (a number of paces, etc): to step ten paces
    7. (transitive) to perform the steps of: they step the tango well
    8. (transitive) to set or place (the foot)
    9. (tr; usually followed by off or out) to measure (some distance of ground) by stepping
    10. (transitive) to arrange in or supply with a series of steps so as to avoid coincidence or symmetry
    11. (transitive) to raise (a mast) and fit it into its step

    See also step down, step inEtymology: Old English stepe, stæpe; related to Old Frisian stap, stepe, Old High German stapfo (German Stapfe footprint), Old Norse stapi high rock

    ˈstepˌlike adj

    'instep' also found in these entries:

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