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step something up
1. to make something more active. I hope we can step the pace of business up in the next few days. We can step up business considerably by putting out a larger sign.
2. to make something go or run faster. The engineer stepped the motors up and the production line moved even faster. Please step up the speed of your activity.
to increase. Industrial production stepped up a large amount this last quarter. Traffic has stepped up since the road was paved.
step up somethingalso step something up
to make something larger, faster, or more effective Following the explosion the airport authorities stepped up security. We had to step our defense up and move the ball better.
Usage notes: also used in the form step it up: The coach said that if we don't step it up in the second half we're in trouble.
1. Increase, especially in stages, as in We've got to step up production. [Early 1900s] Also see step down, def. 2.
2. Come forward, as in Step up to the podium, folks, and I'll show you how it works. [Mid-1600s]
1. To increase something, especially in stages: The factory stepped up production to meet the growing demand. The runners stepped their pace up for the last two laps.
2. To come forward: When I call your name, please step up and be counted. The speaker stepped up to the podium and addressed the crowd.
3. To improve one's performance or take on more responsibility, especially at a crucial time: You need to step up and take responsibility for your actions. The player stepped up at a crucial moment and scored the winning point.