Definition of step something up in English:

step something up

phrasal verb

  • 1Increase the amount, speed, or intensity of something.

    ‘police decided to step up security plans for the match’
    • ‘This quality threshold is likely to be raised as the organisation steps up its activities as it moves into the private sector.’
    • ‘They are stepping up ticketing to clamp down on the vehicles using double yellow lines to park in Southampton city centre.’
    • ‘From there he drove to his home in Glasgow's west end where his security will be stepped up.’
    • ‘Security patrols have been stepped up in the border area.’
    • ‘The visitors were stepping up their game and it was no surprise when they went further ahead in the 59th minute.’
    • ‘Police are stepping up their war on anti-social behaviour on an estate.’
    • ‘And as the government steps up its efforts to join the euro we can expect more traders sell sterling in anticipation.’
    • ‘Rowdy revellers and arsonists could see their antics crushed as a drive to tackle residents' worries steps up a gear.’
    • ‘Police are now stepping up the campaign to catch the culprit and have asked members of the public to come forward if they know who it is.’
    • ‘Police are stepping up their fight against illicit drugs with a pioneering new piece of computer technology.’
    increase, intensify, strengthen, augment, escalate, scale up, boost
    speed up, increase, accelerate, quicken, hasten
    View synonyms
  • 2Increase voltage using a transformer.

    • ‘European machines, which operate on electrical standards different from those of U.S. machines, require transformers to step voltages up or down.’
    • ‘In the pictures you see, it's taking power from an external power supply, stepping it up in voltage, and driving a fluorescent lamp - all at an efficiency of less than 100%.’