Definition of step in in English:

step in

phrasal verb

  • 1Become involved in a difficult situation, especially in order to help.

    ‘palace officials asked the government to step in’
    • ‘Bradford is proving that pupils' exam grades go up when business steps in to help failing local education authorities.’
    • ‘Thus, government steps in and subsidizes premiums to encourage more farmers to join.’
    • ‘One OF York's worst eyesore houses could be in line for a facelift if the city council steps in and forces its owner to sell up.’
    • ‘The victim had become involved in a fight outside the pub and Miss Ward stepped in.’
    • ‘By Saturday of last week local African Caribbean churches had stepped in to try to calm the situation down.’
    • ‘One source close to the club, who did not want to be named, said that club volunteers had stepped in to help but were no substitute.’
    • ‘A while ago I was involved in an incident where I stepped in to help someone who was being spat at by a racist.’
    • ‘We are too global now to not have a world body that seeks to prevent wars and steps in when they occur.’
    • ‘It really is time that city hall stepped in to try and salvage the situation!’
    • ‘But Priya steps in and starts encouraging him and insists that he should cure her of her problem.’
    intervene, intercede, become involved, get involved, act, take action, take measures, take a hand
    mediate, arbitrate, intermediate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Act as a substitute for someone.
      ‘Lucy stepped in at very short notice to take Joan's place’
      • ‘Neither bothered to turn up and the business editor stepped in to do an admirable job as a late substitute.’
      • ‘Blindside flanker Jim Nicholson is out through injury, so natural replacement Duncan Phillips steps in.’