General English

  • adjective which rises or falls quickly
  • adjective very sharply increasing or falling

General Science

  • adjective referring to isobars that are closely spaced



  • adjective referring to an increase which is very great and usually sudden or a price which is very high


Origin & History of “steep”

English has two words steep. The adjective, ‘precipitous’ (OE), originally meant ‘very high’. It came from the prehistoric Germanic base *staup-, *stūp-, which also produced English steeple (OE) (etymologically a ‘high’ tower) and stoop (OE). The verb steep ‘soak’ (14th c.) probably came via an unrecorded Old English *stīepan from prehistoric Germanic *staupjan. this was formed from the base *staup-, *stup-, which also produced English stoup ‘water vessel’ (14th c.) (a borrowing from Old Norse).