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.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.