step

Definitions

General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun a ledge formed by an edge setter in a sheet metal panel to provide a level mounting and welding surface with the adjacent panel

Commerce

  • noun a type of action

Computing

  • noun a single unit
  • verb to move forward or backwards by one unit

Electronics

  • One within a series, sequence, order, or process.
  • To cause to proceed one step (1) at a time, or from one step to another.
  • The interval encompassing a single step (1).
  • Within a computer program, a single instruction. May also refer to a single statement, which can contain multiple instructions. Also called program step.
  • To cause to execute a single step (4).

Information & Library Science

  • noun one of a series of stages used to accomplish a task

Law

  • prefix
    (written as step-)
    showing a family relationship through a parent who has married again

Medical

  • noun a movement of the foot and the leg as in walking

Publishing

  • verb to cut something in steps

Slang

  • exclamation
    (written as step!)
    don’t try it!

Travel

  • noun a stair on a staircase, or a flat rung on a ladder

Origin & History of “step”

Step, together with its relatives German stapfen and Dutch steppen, comes from a prehistoric west Germanic base *stap- ‘tread’ (a nasalized version of which produced English stamp). (Russian step, source of English steppe (17th c.), is not related.) The prefix step- (OE), as in stepdaughter, stepfather, etc, originated in a word meaning ‘orphan’. It is related to Old high German stiufen ‘bereave’.
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