Try Our Apps


What is the origin of "December"?


[steep] /stip/
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.
Origin of steep2
late Middle English
1350-1400; (v.) Middle English stepen < ?; compare Swedish stöpa; (noun) late Middle English stepe, derivative of the v.
Related forms
steeper, noun
unsteeped, adjective
1. infuse. 2. permeate. 3. bury, engulf. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for steeped
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Age had steeped him deep in black wisdom, not weakened his powers of evil.

    A Witch Shall Be Born Robert E. Howard
  • The glory in which the world had been steeped only yesterday had grown pale and grey.

    For the Master's Sake Emily Sarah Holt
  • He had been highly educated while at Naples, and had steeped himself in the New Learning.

  • I did not ride him again for some days, and when I did, I found him steeped in Byronic gloom.

    The Talking Horse F. Anstey
  • It seems when I fished I was steeped in dreams of the sea and the beauty of the lonely islands.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
British Dictionary definitions for steeped


  1. having or being a slope or gradient approaching the perpendicular
  2. (as noun): the steep
(informal) (of a fee, price, demand, etc) unduly high; unreasonable (esp in the phrase that's a bit steep)
(informal) excessively demanding or ambitious: a steep task
(Brit, informal) (of a statement) extreme or far-fetched
(obsolete) elevated
Derived Forms
steeply, adverb
steepness, noun
Word Origin
Old English steap; related to Old Frisian stāp, Old High German stouf cliff, Old Norse staup


to soak or be soaked in a liquid in order to soften, cleanse, extract an element, etc
(transitive; usually passive) to saturate; imbue: steeped in ideology
an instance or the process of steeping or the condition of being steeped
a liquid or solution used for the purpose of steeping something
Derived Forms
steeper, noun
Word Origin
Old English stēpan; related to steap vessel, cup, Old High German stouf, Old Norse staup, Middle Dutch stōp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for steeped



"having a sharp slope," Old English steap "high, lofty," from Proto-Germanic *staupaz (cf. Old Frisian stap, Middle High German *stouf), from PIE *steup- "to push, stick, knock, beat," with derivations referring to projecting objects (cf. Greek typtein "to strike," typos "a blow, mold, die;" Sanskrit tup- "harm," tundate "pushes, stabs;" Gothic stautan "push;" Old Norse 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. Related: Steeply; steepness.


"to soak in a liquid," late 14c., of uncertain origin, originally in reference to barley or malt, probably cognate with Old Norse steypa "to pour out, throw" (or an unrecorded Old English cognate), from Proto-Germanic *staupijanan. Related: Steeped; steeping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for steeped

steam was coming out of someone's ears


He or she was or is very angry: Houk was red-faced with anger. Steam was coming out of his ears (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for steeped

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for steeped