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English definition of “step”

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step

noun [C]
 
 
/step/
a stage in a process: the first/next step What's the first step in the programme? Following the success of our products in Europe, the logical next step is to move into the American market.a step ahead/behind We have to stay a step ahead of our competitors.
an action taken for a particular purpose: take steps to do sth We need to take drastic steps to reduce pollution.
in step having opinions or ideas that are the same as those of other people: keep/stay in step with sth/sb Television companies need to keep in step with public opinion.
out of step having opinions or ideas that are different from those of other people: out of step with sth/sb Our supervisor seems to be out of step with the rest of management.
a/one step at a time slowly and carefully: If we do this one step at a time we won't make any mistakes.
step by step dealing with one thing and then another thing in a fixed order: Don't worry - I'll go through the procedure with you step by step. She gave me detailed step-by-step instructions.
a step forward/in the right direction an improvement or positive development: This may not be a complete solution, but it's a step forward. Most people believe that the decision to cut interest rates was a step in the right direction.
(Definition of step noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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