stairstep

[stair-step]
noun
1.
a step in a staircase.
2.
stairsteps, stairs; a staircase.
3.
a person or thing whose position, status, behavior, or the like suggests the shape or rise of the steps in a staircase: Their six children are stairsteps ranging from ages two to twelve.
verb (used without object), stairstepped, stairstepping.
4.
to occur or move in a regular pattern suggesting the steps of a staircase: housing units stairstepping down the hill to the edge of the lake.
adjective
5.
suggesting or resembling the steps of a staircase, as in movement or shape: stairstep progress in improved appliance sales.
Also, stair-step.


Origin:
1825–35; stair + step

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
The entrance is slightly recessed, surrounded on the sides by three courses of
  brick in a stairstep pattern.
Alternating resistant limestone ledges and soft marls that weather to form a
  characteristic stairstep topography.
The remainder of the ground water continues in a stairstep fashion downward and
  toward the valley floor.
As the thrust fault zone cuts up section in a stairstep manner, it produces
  repeated section.
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