step on (one's) toes

(redirected from stepped on toes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to stepped on toes: tread on toes

step

1. informal The same pace or rhythm as someone or something else. Used with the prepositions "in" or "out of." My date kept dancing out of step with me throughout our entire prom. It was so embarrassing! Come on, man, you need to be in step with the bass and drums.
2. informal Agreement or accordance. Used with the prepositions "in" or "out of." You really need to get in step with the priorities of this company. You work for us, not for yourself. Making a sexist statement like that just proves how much he is out of step with the views of modern society.

step on (one's) toes

To insult, offend, or upset one, especially by getting involved in something that is one's responsibility. I want to help John out on his project, but I know it's his baby, so I don't want to step on his toes in any way. Look, you're going to have to step on a few peoples' toes if you want to get ahead in this business.
See also: on, step, toe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

step on someone's toes

 and tread on someone's toes 
1. Lit. to step down onto someone's toes, causing pain. Please don't step on my toes as you walk by.
2. Fig. to offend or insult someone, as if causing physical pain. You're sure I won't be stepping on her toes if I talk directly to her supervisor? I didn't mean to tread on your toes.
See also: on, step, toe
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

step on someone's toes

Also, tread on someone's toes. Hurt or offend someone. For example, Be careful what you say about her losing weight; don't step on her toes, or Would I be stepping on someone's toes if I asked to help out with the party arrangements? This metaphoric idiom transfers physical to emotional pain. [Late 1300s]
See also: on, step, toe
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.

step on someone's toes

or

tread on someone's toes

COMMON If you step on someone's toes or tread on their toes, you offend them by interfering in something that is their responsibility. `Small shopkeepers know who sells what,' Sue explains, `so they don't step on one another's toes.' She's already seeing Dr Simmonds — I can't tread on his toes. Note: You can also say that someone steps on toes or treads on toes. It was no wonder, with such a complicated system, that I was stepping on toes from morning to night.
See also: on, step, toe
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

step

/tread on (someone's) toes
To hurt, offend, or encroach on the feelings, actions, or province of.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also: