Definition of in (or out of) step in US English:

in (or out of) step

phrase

  • 1Putting (or not putting) one's feet forward alternately in the same rhythm as the people one is walking, marching, or dancing with.

    • ‘Even the guys who were in the class were in step and in rhythm!’
    • ‘Many now in their 80s, they marched in step, medals glinting in the sun at the end of a long, hot day.’
    • ‘At one point, young Erin hurried forward to march in step with the Captain.’
    • ‘Walking down the street beside him, you would notice from time to time his nimble little skip as he changed feet to keep in step.’
    • ‘Nowadays, players are slouching, walking out of step, and passing around water bottles.’
    • ‘Among the delegates were German veterans and blind ones from France; some of the vets, protesting the political and military madness of the First World War, refused to march in step.’
    • ‘I heard no distinct word as I passed but a few minutes later when they arose, clasped hands and walked away perfectly in step with one another, I breathed a sigh of relief for them.’
    • ‘Protectively placing an arm around his mother's shoulders, Michael walks in step with her to the drawing room.’
    • ‘We headed back up the stairs, then once outside the Media Center, we somehow managed to all start walking side-by-side, in step - it was slightly disturbing.’
    • ‘Twenty-one young children from the local schools marched in step, each child carrying a rose.’
    1. 1.1 Conforming (or not conforming) to what others are doing or thinking.
      ‘the party is clearly out of step with voters’
      • ‘The ethnic make-up of Woolwich will certainly put that shop out of step with the local community.’
      • ‘That's where art was heading, so he was a little out of step with the intellectual movement.’
      • ‘The ordinary American continues to be splendidly out of step with the Chattering Classes.’
      • ‘For too long Glasgow has been out of step with the rest of Scotland which complies far more readily with copyright law.’
      • ‘It has also given the impression that Britain is acting detrimentally to the general European interest and is the only country marching out of step.’
      • ‘England remained out of step with Europe, at least those countries that were Catholic, for more than 200 years and during that time grew to be the most powerful and commercially prosperous nation on earth.’
      • ‘The problem with that, of course, is that those opposition parties are out of step with 82 percent of New Zealanders.’
      • ‘Are they going to boot him out of office if he doesn't march in step?’
      • ‘At present, they are all out of step with the vast majority of British people.’
      • ‘If his vanity premiership gets too far out of step with what the party wants, he won't get the chance to serve a full term.’
      in accord, in harmony, in agreement, in tune, in line, in keeping, in conformity, in accordance, in consensus, in consilience
      at odds, at variance, in disagreement, out of tune, out of line, not in keeping, out of harmony, at loggerheads, in opposition, at outs
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Physics (of two or more oscillations or other cyclic phenomena) having (or not having) the same frequency and always in the same phase.
      • ‘But if the second note is sharpened slightly, say to 445 Hz, a note of some intermediate pitch is heard that pulsates in loudness as the peaks and troughs of the two waves drift in and out of step.’
      • ‘In that case, when the length of one of the arms changes the tiniest bit, the beams will be more in step and produce some light when combined.’
      • ‘Over time, the quantum waves that accompany the different flavors get out of step, and an electron neutrino seems to morph into a muon neutrino or a tau neutrino and back again.’
      • ‘If they are in step (in phase, the physicists say), then crest coincides constructively with crest, giving maximum mutual reinforcement.’