watch (one's) step

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watch (one's) step

1. Literally, to pay attention to where one is walking. Often used as an imperative. Watch your step! All of these cords are a tripping hazard.
2. By extension, to proceed with caution. Watch your step when you meet with the boss—this is a situation you need to finesse. Larry better watch his step around here, or he won't be invited back.
See also: step, watch

watch one's step

 
1. be careful of one's walking or stepping. It's slippery here. Watch your step.
2. Fig. to act with care and caution so as not to make a mistake or offend someone. John had better watch his step with the new boss. He won't put up with his lateness. Mary was told by the teacher to watch her step and stop missing classes.
See also: step, watch

watch one's step

Exercise caution, as in You'd better watch your step talking to them about a merger. Often put as an admonition, this phrase transfers taking care in walking to other kinds of caution. [First half of 1900s]
See also: step, watch
References in periodicals archive ?
1914 - Irving Berlin's musical Watch your Step premieres in NYC.
| Watch your step: Look out for wet leaves so you don't slip.
Nor would it startle you to come across a selkie or a siren, although you might want to watch your step.
(You will be.) More than just looked over he is inverted presence that unexpectedly shapes the landscape you walk on unrevealed invisible unwholed Watch your step!
You'll also find Benny Spellman's Fortune Teller (The Merseybeats), Richie Barrett's Some Other Guy (The Big Three) and Bobby Parker's Watch Your Step, which my old band The Move used to play while singer Carl Wayne was chopping up TV sets with a huge axe!
SO YOU DEFINITELY WATCH YOUR STEP WHEN CLIMBING UP, DOWN AND ALL AROUND THE STRYKER.
By taking part in the Watch Your Step scheme, part of a national awareness campaign, older people, their families and others who care for them can make a massive difference to their everyday lives."
as you learn to watch your step, shift your weight, make room in all
You have to watch your step in some areas at St George's where a ditch wends its way around the back of the clubhouse and perilously near the Royal and Ancient marquee.
* Watch your step entering and exiting; the car may not be exactly level with the floor.
Watch your step; Clinton's micro-government proposals are everywhere.
So watch your step. CONTACT: The Adventure Travel Society, 6551 South Revere Parkway, Suite 160, Englewood, CO 80111-6410/(303)649-9016; The Ecotourism Society, PO Box 755, North Bennington, VT 05257/(802)447-2121.
Prevented by the George Gershwin estate from naming the ballet with the title of its accompaniment, An American in Paris (augmented by the Concerto in F and the song "Watch Your Step") because a Broadway musical with the same name is in the works, Pelzig nonetheless gives us a Paris in postcards, in a pop art series of spectacular set pieces including an eighteen-foot-high French poodle designed by Robert Martin Pakledinaz created a kaleidoscope of witty, Day-Glo-colored costumes.
WATCH YOUR STEP! That bold warning appears at the entrance to many trails wending their way through Utah's Canyonlands National Park.
Watch your step Keep a look out for wet leaves so you don't slip on them.