2 [steep]
verb (used with object)
to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent: to steep tea in boiling-hot water; to steep reeds for basket weaving.
to wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench; saturate; imbue.
to immerse in or saturate or imbue with some pervading, absorbing, or stupefying influence or agency: an incident steeped in mystery.
verb (used without object)
to lie soaking in a liquid.
the act or process of steeping or the state of being steeped.
a liquid in which something is steeped.

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English stepen < ?; compare Swedish stöpa; (noun) late Middle English stepe, derivative of the v.

steeper, noun
unsteeped, adjective

1. infuse. 2. permeate. 3. bury, engulf. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
steep1 (stiːp)
1.  a.  having or being a slope or gradient approaching the perpendicular
 b.  (as noun): the steep
2.  informal (of a fee, price, demand, etc) unduly high; unreasonable (esp in the phrase that's a bit steep)
3.  informal excessively demanding or ambitious: a steep task
4.  informal (Brit) (of a statement) extreme or far-fetched
5.  obsolete elevated
[Old English steap; related to Old Frisian stāp, Old High German stouf cliff, Old Norse staup]

steep2 (stiːp)
1.  to soak or be soaked in a liquid in order to soften, cleanse, extract an element, etc
2.  (tr; usually passive) to saturate; imbue: steeped in ideology
3.  an instance or the process of steeping or the condition of being steeped
4.  a liquid or solution used for the purpose of steeping something
[Old English stēpan; related to steap vessel, cup, Old High German stouf, Old Norse staup, Middle Dutch stōp]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"having a sharp slope," O.E. steap "high, lofty," from P.Gmc. *staupaz (cf. O.Fris. stap, M.H.G. *stouf), from PIE *steup- "to push, stick, knock, beat," with derivations referring to projecting objects (cf. Gk. typtein "to strike," typos "a blow, mold, die;" Skt. tup- "harm," tundate "pushes, stabs;"
Goth. stautan "push;" O.N. stuttr "short"). The sense of "precipitous" is from c.1200. The slang sense "at a high price" is a U.S. coinage first attested 1856.

"to soak in a liquid," late 14c., of uncertain origin, originally in reference to barley or malt, probably cognate with O.N. steypa "to pour out, throw" (or an unrecorded O.E. cognate), from P.Gmc. *staupijanan. Related: Steeped; steeping.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Coarsely ground coffee is steeped with hot water in shallow bowls, then slurped
  from flat spoons.
Meanwhile, the college shut down the student government, which was steeped in
  related controversies.
Steeped in mysticism and religious learning, he was also a master political
  tactician and a supreme strategist.
Their behavior reinforces the stereotype of the church as a stodgy organization
  steeped in willful ignorance and petulance.
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