Definition of step in in US English:

step in

phrasal verb

  • 1Become involved in a difficult or problematic situation, especially in order to help or prevent something from happening.

    • ‘The victim had become involved in a fight outside the pub and Miss Ward stepped in.’
    • ‘A while ago I was involved in an incident where I stepped in to help someone who was being spat at by a racist.’
    • ‘By Saturday of last week local African Caribbean churches had stepped in to try to calm the situation down.’
    • ‘We are too global now to not have a world body that seeks to prevent wars and steps in when they occur.’
    • ‘Thus, government steps in and subsidizes premiums to encourage more farmers to join.’
    • ‘It really is time that city hall stepped in to try and salvage the situation!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But Priya steps in and starts encouraging him and insists that he should cure her of her problem.’
    • ‘Bradford is proving that pupils' exam grades go up when business steps in to help failing local education authorities.’
    intervene, intercede, become involved, get involved, act, take action, take measures, take a hand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Act 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.’