Half step
Step Step, n. [AS. st[ae]pe. See {Step}, v. i.] 1. An advance or movement made by one removal of the foot; a pace. [1913 Webster]

2. A rest, or one of a set of rests, for the foot in ascending or descending, as a stair, or a round of a ladder. [1913 Webster]

The breadth of every single step or stair should be never less than one foot. --Sir H. Wotton. [1913 Webster]

3. The space passed over by one movement of the foot in walking or running; as, one step is generally about three feet, but may be more or less. Used also figuratively of any kind of progress; as, he improved step by step, or by steps. [1913 Webster]

To derive two or three general principles of motion from phenomena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties and actions of all corporeal things follow from those manifest principles, would be a very great step in philosophy. --Sir I. Newton. [1913 Webster]

4. A small space or distance; as, it is but a step. [1913 Webster]

5. A print of the foot; a footstep; a footprint; track. [1913 Webster]

6. Gait; manner of walking; as, the approach of a man is often known by his step. [1913 Webster]

7. Proceeding; measure; action; an act. [1913 Webster]

The reputation of a man depends on the first steps he makes in the world. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, Live till to-morrow, will have passed away. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

I have lately taken steps . . . to relieve the old gentleman's distresses. --G. W. Cable. [1913 Webster]

8. pl. Walk; passage. [1913 Webster]

Conduct my steps to find the fatal tree. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

9. pl. A portable framework of stairs, much used indoors in reaching to a high position. [1913 Webster]

10. (Naut.) In general, a framing in wood or iron which is intended to receive an upright shaft; specif., a block of wood, or a solid platform upon the keelson, supporting the heel of the mast. [1913 Webster]

11. (Mach.) (a) One of a series of offsets, or parts, resembling the steps of stairs, as one of the series of parts of a cone pulley on which the belt runs. (b) A bearing in which the lower extremity of a spindle or a vertical shaft revolves. [1913 Webster]

12. (Mus.) The intervak between two contiguous degrees of the csale. [1913 Webster]

Note: The word tone is often used as the name of this interval; but there is evident incongruity in using tone for indicating the interval between tones. As the word scale is derived from the Italian scala, a ladder, the intervals may well be called steps. [1913 Webster]

13. (Kinematics) A change of position effected by a motion of translation. --W. K. Clifford. [1913 Webster]

14. (Fives) At Eton College, England, a shallow step dividing the court into an inner and an outer portion. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Back step}, {Half step}, etc. See under {Back}, {Half}, etc.

{Step grate}, a form of grate for holding fuel, in which the bars rise above one another in the manner of steps.

{To take steps}, to take action; to move in a matter. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Half step — Half Half (h[aum]f), a. [AS. healf, half, half; as a noun, half, side, part; akin to OS., OFries., & D. half, G. halb, Sw. half, Dan. halv, Icel. h[=a]lfr, Goth. halbs. Cf. {Halve}, {Behalf}.] 1. Consisting of a moiety, or half; as, a half… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • half step — half′ step n. 1) mad semitone 2) mil Mil. a step 15 in. (38 cm) long in quick time and 18 in. (46 cm) long in double time • Etymology: 1900–05 …   From formal English to slang

  • half step — n. 1. Mil. a short marching step of fifteen inches (in double time, eighteen inches) 2. Music SEMITONE …   English World dictionary

  • half step — n AmE the difference in ↑pitch between any two notes that are next to each other on a piano = ↑semitone …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • half step — half ,step noun count AMERICAN TECHNICAL an amount by which one sound is higher or lower than another, equal to 1/12 of an OCTAVE. This difference occurs between any two notes that are next to each other on a piano …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • half step — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms half step : singular half step plural half steps music American a semitone …   English dictionary

  • half step —    a unit used in music to describe the ratio in frequency between notes. Equal to 1/12 octave, the half step measures the difference between adjacent notes in the standard 12 tone scale, as on a piano keyboard. Two notes differ in frequency by a …   Dictionary of units of measurement

  • half step — noun Date: 1904 1. a walking step of 15 inches or in double time of 18 inches 2. a musical interval (as E F or B C) equivalent to 1/12 of an octave called also semitone …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • half step — 1. Music. semitone. 2. Mil. a step 15 in. (38 cm) long in quick time and 18 in. (46 cm) long in double time. [1900 05] * * * …   Universalium

  • half step — noun An interval of which there are seven in a fifth or twelve in an octave, consisting of two tones whose frequency ratio is about 1.059 or 18/17. See Also: whole step, cent …   Wiktionary

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