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[steep] /stip/
adjective, steeper, steepest.
having an almost vertical slope or pitch, or a relatively high gradient, as a hill, an ascent, stairs, etc.
(of a price or amount) unduly high; exorbitant:
Those prices are too steep for me.
extreme or incredible, as a statement or story.
high or lofty.
a steep place; declivity, as of a hill.
Origin of steep1
before 900; Middle English stepe (adj.), Old English stēap; akin to stoop1
Related forms
steeply, adverb
steepness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for steepest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The wheels moved rapidly, and we ascended the steepest mountain railroad in the world.

    Thirty Years on the Frontier Robert McReynolds
  • I walked up the steepest parts and now and then had a chat with the settlers.

  • The valley here was five hundred feet in depth, the slope being one of the steepest I had ever seen.

    The Great Lone Land W. F. Butler
  • The most difficult side was chosen—where the cliff was steepest.

    Tales of the Sea W.H.G. Kingston
  • This model steam carriage ascended with ease the steepest roads.

    Automobile Biographies Lyman Horace Weeks
British Dictionary definitions for steepest


  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
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Word Origin and History for steepest



"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
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Slang definitions & phrases for steepest

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.
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