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.
such a movement followed by a movement of equal distance of the other foot:
The soldier took one step forward and stood at attention.
the space passed over or the distance measured by one such movement of the foot.
the sound made by the foot in making such a movement.
a mark or impression made by the foot on the ground; footprint.
the manner of walking; gait; stride.
pace in marching:
a pace uniform with that of another or others, or in time with music.
steps, movements or course in walking or running:
to retrace one's steps.
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.
rank, degree, or grade, as on a vertical scale.
a support for the foot in ascending or descending:
a step of a ladder; a stair of 14 steps.
a very short distance:
She was never more than a step away from her children.
a repeated pattern or unit of movement in a dance formed by a combination of foot and body motions.
O.E. steppan (Anglian), stæppan (W.Saxon) "take a step," from W.Gmc. *stap- "tread" (cf. O.Fris., M.Du., Du. stap, O.H.G. stapfo, Ger. stapfe "footstep"), from PIE base *stebh- "to tread, step" (cf. O.C.S. stopa "step, pace," stepeni "step, degree"). Originally strong (p.t. stop, pp. bestapen); weak forms emerged 13c., universal from 16c. Stepping stone first recorded early 14c.; in the figurative sense 1653. Step on it "hurry up" is 1923, from notion of gas pedal; step out (v.) is from 1907.
O.E. steppa (Mercian), stæpe, stepe (W.Saxon) "stair, act of stepping," from the source of step (v.). Meaning "action which leads toward a result" is recorded from 1549. Stepladder (one with steps instead of rungs) is from 1751. Warning phrase watch your step is attested from 1934. Step-dancing first recorded 1886.