step it up
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step it up
To do something better, faster, or more efficiently. I know you're under a lot of pressure at home, but you really need to step it up here at work, Larry. I kind of coasted through my first semester, so I'm really trying to step it up now.
1. To increase, improve, or hasten something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "step" and "up." We plan to step production up by nearly 75% over the next six months. I'm trying to step up my output ahead of tomorrow's deadline.
2. To give extra effort or take on additional responsibilities, especially when doing so is critical. Someone will need to step up and lead this project now that Dylan has resigned. We're all counting on you to step up and get this done. Your mother is going back to work, so we're going to need you to step up and start looking after your sister after school.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.