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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.
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