1. Literally, to soak something in some substance in order to imbue something into or draw something out of it. A noun or pronoun is used between "steep" and "in"; often used in passive constructions. You can steep tea leaves in cold water and still extract the same flavor, but it works much quicker with hot water. The cloth is steeped in a special mixture of chemicals that give is a softness similar to silk.
2. To expose someone or something to or immerse them or it in a particular experience or situation in order to be saturated or imbued with some property. A noun or pronoun is used between "steep" and "in"; often used in passive constructions. My parents made an especial effort to steep my sibling and me in a wide range of cultural and educational influences from a very young age. As the leading university of our country for over 300 years, this school is steeped in history and tradition.
steep someone in something
Fig. to immerse someone in some kind of knowledge or other experience; to saturate someone with some kind of experience or training. (Fig. on steep something in something.) Her parents steeped her in good literature and music. she steeped herself in the legends of her people.
steep something in something
to soak something in a liquid. I steeped the shirt in red dye. You have to steep these herbs in steamy hot water for five minutes.
To expose someone or something to something else in order to imbue some quality: The teacher steeped the students in classic literature. The university is steeped in tradition.