Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “step”


noun (FOOT MOVEMENT)    /step/
B1 [C] the act of lifting one foot and putting it down on a different part of the ground, such as when you walk or run: Sophie took her first steps when she was eleven months old. He rose to his feet and took a couple of steps towards her. With every step, her feet hurt her more and more. I retraced my steps, looking for my lost keys. → See also footstepWalking and walkers [C] the distance you cover when you take a step: I'd only gone a few steps down the road when I realized I'd forgotten to lock the door.Walking and walkers [U] the way you move your feet when you are walking or running, which can sometimes show how you are feeling: She walked out of the office with a spring in her step (= in a way that showed she was happy). The driver told us to mind/watch our step (= walk carefully) as we got off the bus.Walking and walkers [C] a particular movement that you make with your feet when you dance: She's teaching me some basic dance steps.Dance and choreography in general in step When people walk in step, they lift their feet off the ground and put them down again at the same time: The soldiers marched in step.Simultaneous and consecutiveOrder and sequence describes opinions, ideas, or ways of living that are the same as those of other people: Television companies need to keep in step with public opinion.Describing people with the same qualitiesSimilar and the same out of step When someone is out of step, they do not lift the same foot and put it down again at the same time as other people: I'm no good at dancing - I always get hopelessly out of step.Walking and walkers describes opinions, ideas, or ways of living that are different from those of other people: The Republicans are out of step with the country, Williams said. He thinks that everyone is out of step except him.Different and differenceUnique and unusualGood, better and best in terms of quality
(Definition of step noun (FOOT MOVEMENT) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of step

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Walking and walkers, but you might be interested in these topics from the Moving on foot topic area:

Definitions of “step” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More