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

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