What does steep mean?

Definitions for steep

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word steep.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. steepadjective

    a steep place (as on a hill)

  2. steepadjective

    having a sharp inclination

    "the steep attic stairs"; "steep cliffs"

  3. exorbitant, extortionate, outrageous, steep, unconscionable, usuriousadjective

    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation

    "exorbitant rent"; "extortionate prices"; "spends an outrageous amount on entertainment"; "usurious interest rate"; "unconscionable spending"

  4. steepverb

    of a slope; set at a high angle

    "note the steep incline"; "a steep roof sheds snow"

  5. steep, immerse, engulf, plunge, engross, absorb, soak upverb

    devote (oneself) fully to

    "He immersed himself into his studies"

  6. steep, infuseverb

    let sit in a liquid to extract a flavor or to cleanse

    "steep the blossoms in oil"; "steep the fruit in alcohol"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. STEEPadjective

    Rising or descending with little inclination.

    Etymology: steap , Saxon.

    He now had conquer’d Anxur’s steep ascent. Addison.

  2. Steepnoun

    Precipice; ascent or descent approaching to perpendicularity.

    As that Theban monster that propos’d
    Her riddle, and him, who solv’d it not, devour’d;
    That once found out and solv’d, for grief and spight
    Cast herself headlong from the Ismenian steep. John Milton.

    As high turrets for their airy steep
    Require foundations, in proportion deep;
    And lofty cedars as far upwards shoot,
    As to the neather heavens they drive the root;
    So low did her secure foundation lie,
    She was not humble, but humility. Dryden.

    Instructs the beast to know his native force,
    To take the bit between his teeth, and fly
    To the next headlong steep of anarchy. Dryden.

    We had on each side naked rocks and mountains, broken into a thousand irregular steeps and precipices. Addison.

    Leaning o’er the rails, he musing stood,
    And view’d below the black canal of mud,
    Where common shores a lulling murmur keep,
    Whose torrents rush from Holborn’s fatal steep. John Gay.

  3. To Steepverb

    To soak; to macerate; to imbue; to dip.

    Etymology: stippen, Dutch.

    When his brother saw the red blood trail
    Adown so fast, and all his armour steep,
    For very fellness loud he ’gan to weep. Edmund Spenser.

    He, like an adder, lurking in the weeds,
    His wandring thought in deep desire does steep;
    And his frail eye with spoil of beauty feeds. Fairy Queen.

    A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
    Of sweet young Rutland. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Present to her, as sometime Marg’ret
    Did to thy father, steep’d in Rutland’s blood,
    A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain
    The purple tide from her sweet brother’s body. William Shakespeare.

    The conquering wine hath steep’d our sense
    In soft and delicate Lethe. William Shakespeare.

    Many dream not to find, neither deserve,
    And yet are steep’d in favours. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    Four days will quickly steep themselves in night:
    Four nights will quickly dream away the time. William Shakespeare.

    Most of the steepings are cheap things, and the goodness of the crop is a great matter of gain. Francis Bacon.

    Whole droves of minds are by the driving god
    Compell’d to drink the deep Lethean flood:
    In large forgetful draughts to steep the cares
    Of their past labours and their irksome years. Dryden.

    Wheat steeped in brine twelve hours prevents the smuttiness. John Mortimer, Husbandry.


  1. steep

    Steep refers to a sharp inclination or rise in the physical landscape or surface, such as a hill or mountain. Alternatively, in a metaphorical sense, it can refer to a rapid or dramatic increase or change in a variable or condition. For example, a "steep learning curve" implies a significant amount of effort or knowledge is required to master a new skill in a short period of time.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Steepadjective

    bright; glittering; fiery

  2. Steepverb

    to soak in a liquid; to macerate; to extract the essence of by soaking; as, to soften seed by steeping it in water. Often used figuratively

  3. Steepverb

    to undergo the process of soaking in a liquid; as, the tea is steeping

  4. Steepnoun

    something steeped, or used in steeping; a fertilizing liquid to hasten the germination of seeds

  5. Steepnoun

    a rennet bag

  6. Steepverb

    making a large angle with the plane of the horizon; ascending or descending rapidly with respect to a horizontal line or a level; precipitous; as, a steep hill or mountain; a steep roof; a steep ascent; a steep declivity; a steep barometric gradient

  7. Steepverb

    difficult of access; not easy reached; lofty; elevated; high

  8. Steepverb

    excessive; as, a steep price

  9. Steepnoun

    a precipitous place, hill, mountain, rock, or ascent; any elevated object sloping with a large angle to the plane of the horizon; a precipice

  10. Etymology: [OE. stepen, probably fr. Icel. steypa to cause to stoop, cast down, pour out, to cast metals, causative of stpa to stoop; cf. Sw. stpa to cast, to steep, Dan. stbe, D. & G. stippen to steep, to dip. Cf. Stoop, v. i.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Steep

    stēp, adj. rising or descending with great inclination: precipitous: difficult, excessive, exorbitant.—n. a precipitous place: a precipice.—adj. Steep′-down (Shak.), deep and precipitous.—v.i. Steep′en, to become steep.—ns. Steep′iness, Steep′ness, the state or quality of being steep.—adv. Steep′ly.—adj. Steep′y, steep. [A.S. steáp; Ice. steypthr.]

  2. Steep

    stēp, v.t. to dip or soak in a liquid: to imbue.—n. something steeped or used in steeping: a fertilising liquid for seed: rennet.—n. Steep′er, a vessel in which articles are steeped. [Scand., Ice. steypa, to make to stoop, pour out, causal of stúpa, to stoop.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. STEEP

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Steep is ranked #119508 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Steep surname appeared 145 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Steep.

    90.3% or 131 total occurrences were White.
    4.1% or 6 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'steep' in Adjectives Frequency: #664

How to pronounce steep?

How to say steep in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of steep in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of steep in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of steep in a Sentence

  1. Horace:

    Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even.

  2. Ken Hasegawa:

    Following the long and steep decline in oil prices, we have seen some buying interest in recent days, but there is still a lot of selling pressure.

  3. William Shakespeare:

    To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.

  4. Lorne Baring:

    The steep decline in oil prices is now creating an economic and financial markets inflection point.

  5. Bart Wakabayashi:

    The drop by dollar/yen was shocking. It was a reminder of how scary the market can become when positions are tilted suddenly in one direction, the dollar's climb in October and November was very steep, so adjustments like this were bound to happen. Equities are going through similar phase after their rally. So far I see it more as position adjustments rather than a more significant change leading to 'risk off' moves.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for steep

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"steep." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/steep>.

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    base and cowardly
    • A. pecuniary
    • B. inexpiable
    • C. currish
    • D. bibulous

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