One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Increase the amount, speed, or intensity of something.‘police decided to step up security plans for the match’
increase, intensify, strengthen, augment, escalate, scale up, boostspeed up, increase, accelerate, quicken, hastenView synonyms
- ‘Rowdy revellers and arsonists could see their antics crushed as a drive to tackle residents' worries steps up a gear.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They are stepping up ticketing to clamp down on the vehicles using double yellow lines to park in Southampton city centre.’
- ‘Security patrols have been stepped up in the border area.’
- ‘Police are stepping up their fight against illicit drugs with a pioneering new piece of computer technology.’
- ‘And as the government steps up its efforts to join the euro we can expect more traders sell sterling in anticipation.’
- ‘From there he drove to his home in Glasgow's west end where his security will be stepped up.’
- ‘This quality threshold is likely to be raised as the organisation steps up its activities as it moves into the private sector.’
- ‘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.’
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%.’
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