steep 1 (stēp)
adj. steep·er, steep·est
1. Having a sharp inclination; precipitous.
2. At a rapid or precipitous rate: a steep rise in imports.
a. Excessive; stiff: a steep price.
b. Ambitious; difficult: a steep undertaking.
A precipitous slope.
[Middle English stepe, from Old English stēap.]
Synonyms: steep1, abrupt, precipitous, sheer2
These adjectives mean so sharply inclined as to be almost perpendicular: steep cliffs; an abrupt drop-off; precipitous hills; a sheer descent.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.