step-

step-

a prefix denoting connection between members of a family by the remarriage of a parent and not by blood: stepbrother.

Origin:
Middle English; Old English stēop-; cognate with German stief-, Old Norse stjūp- step-; akin to Old English āstēpan to bereave, bestēpan to deprive (of children)

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step-
 
combining form
indicating relationship through the previous marriage of a spouse or parent rather than by blood: stepson; stepfather
 
[Old English stēop-; compare āstӯpan to bereave]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

step-
O.E. steop-, with connotations of "loss," in combinations like steopcild "orphan," related to astiepan, bestiepan "to bereave, to deprive of parents or children," from P.Gmc. *steupa- "bereft" (cf. O.Fris. stiap-, O.N. stjup-, Swed. styv-, M.L.G. stef-, Du. stief-, O.H.G. stiof-, Ger. stief-), lit.
"pushed out," from PIE *steup-, from base *(s)teu- (see steep (adj.)). Etymologically, a stepfather or stepmother is one who becomes father or mother to an orphan, but the notion of orphanage faded in 20c. For sense evolution, cf. L. privignus "stepson," related to privus "deprived."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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