step up

step up  {v.}
1. To go from a lower to a higher place.
John stepped up onto the platform and began to speak.
2. To come towards or near; approach.
The sergeant called for volunteers and Private Jones stepped up to volunteer.
John waited until the teacher had finished speaking to Mary, and then he stepped up.
3. To go or to make (something) go faster or more actively.
When John found he was going to be late, he stepped up his pace.
After we had reached the outskirts of town, we stepped up the engine.
The enemy was near, and the army stepped up its patrols to find them before they got too close.
4. To rise to a higher or more important position; be promoted.
This year Mary is secretary of the club, but I am sure she will step up to president next year.
Contrast: STEP DOWN (3).
Categories: verb

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