Definition of stepping stone in English:

stepping stone

noun

  • 1A raised stone used singly or in a series as a place on which to step when crossing a stream or muddy area.

    • ‘The club wants to create a protective ‘bund’ or embankment barrier on a grassed riverbank area close to stepping stones on the River Wharfe.’
    • ‘Crossing the stepping stones to the boulder, Will told Heather he had something for her.’
    • ‘Some were used as laundry washboards; others as part of the foundations of houses or as stepping stones along muddy riverbanks.’
    • ‘It's a lovely place and we walked across stepping stones and skimmed pebbles in the river.’
    • ‘And it's the cheeky things, like setting up their little stepping stones, with my paving stones, that upset you as well.’
    • ‘Together, they walked along a series of stepping stones through a manicured lawn toward the castle's main entrance, a pair of huge wooden doors on balanced iron hinges.’
    • ‘Here are the easy steps to make stepping stones.’
    • ‘These lead into a larger stream over which there are a well-preserved set of stepping stones.’
    • ‘The floor has been reduced to a strip of austere pebbled garden with stepping stones and a parallel garden pool.’
    • ‘The original path was a series of stepping stones laid in the lawn, which I was able to reuse.’
    • ‘Upgrade the stepping stones if you want a safer crossing, but a bridge will be an eyesore, expensive to maintain, and totally ruin what is a spectacular area of natural beauty.’
    • ‘He told the panel existing stepping stones across the river, which formed a legal right of way, were uncrossable for the most of the year and he argued that a bridge was needed to provide a safe crossing point.’
    • ‘With only enough space for one foot on each stone, it takes a while to negotiate the stepping stones across the Wharfe at Bolton Abbey.’
    • ‘Only the sound of the River Nidd trickling quietly past boulders, which act as impromptu stepping stones for anyone wanting to reach the entrance to Manchester Hole, broke the silence.’
    • ‘She made her way to his last safe step, and then tested each stone around it until she found a secure stepping stone.’
    • ‘Walk across some stepping stones over one of the streams as ornamental carp swim lazily past and you can marvel at the mist-covered mountains in the distance as you amble with your guide down to your accommodation.’
    • ‘When planning borders and beds, allow for easy access to all areas of the bed using paths or stepping stones.’
    • ‘In other areas stepping stones had been placed on the roads so people could avoid the mud.’
    • ‘He said the crossing, which presently consists of stepping stones, was in the unique position of stretching from one county to another - which means permission must also be granted by Harrogate planners.’
    • ‘Melissa put in large, handsome stepping stones between the mini railroad-tie steps, and filled in the blank spaces with some foot-friendly ground cover plants.’
    1. 1.1 An action or event that helps one to make progress towards a specified goal.
      ‘the school championships are a stepping stone to international competition’
      • ‘The East Asia Summit is seen as the stepping stone to a more ambitious goal of an East Asian Community in the future.’
      • ‘First, the 59 year old says, the International Space Station - the stepping stone to the planets - will need to be completed.’
      • ‘All clubs should really be involved in this series as it is the ideal stepping stone for the future.’
      • ‘So it's clearly the quickest stepping stone to the White House.’
      • ‘Little do people know that setbacks that they have in life can be turned into a stepping stone to success.’
      • ‘The National Community Games finals are often a stepping stone to greater things.’
      • ‘The institutes could provide a stepping-stone between industrial groups looking for innovation and cutting-edge academic research.’
      • ‘The well-organised event was again a stepping stone to the Nationals in March, which this year will be held closer to home than usual at Leeds.’
      • ‘Why is the recognition of this facet of reality an important stepping-stone to reaching a proper understanding of the soul?’
      • ‘This builds their confidence and lets them learn new skills, and can often be a stepping stone to finding paid work.’
      • ‘The eagerness to arrive at a better understanding of where the others come from, a deliberate attempt to appreciate our differences and a thirst for freedom from our ignorance will be further stepping stones to true redemption.’
      • ‘His controlled approach to racing extends to his career as a whole, and he prefers to look on every race as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal, rather than as a minor victory in itself.’
      • ‘Each session ends with 10 minutes' focus on the stepping stones towards a goal.’
      • ‘It means setting achievable goals as a stepping stone to ultimate success.’
      • ‘On one side were those who used the title as a stepping stone to get into the entertainment business.’
      • ‘Indian software engineers getting jobs in Europe use it as a stepping stone to America.’
      • ‘Immigration reformers saw this program as a stepping stone to drastically overhauling our current immigration policy.’
      • ‘But that was just a stepping stone to his ultimate goal: a law degree.’
      • ‘Wartime military service has been a traditional steppingstone to the White House.’
      • ‘The American Revolution was their stepping-stone, first to glory, then to power.’

Pronunciation

stepping stone

/ˈstɛpɪŋ stəʊn/