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steep 1

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.]

steep′ly adv.
steep′ness n.
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.

steep 2

v. steeped, steep·ing, steeps
1. To immerse in liquid for a period of time, as to cleanse, treat, or extract a given property from: steeped the cloth in red dye; steeped the tea bag in boiling water.
2. To involve or preoccupy thoroughly; immerse: As a child, she steeped herself in adventure stories.
3. To make thoroughly wet; saturate.
To undergo a soaking in liquid: Let the tea steep for five minutes.
a. The act or process of steeping.
b. The state of being steeped.
2. A liquid, bath, or solution in which something is steeped.

[Middle English stepen, perhaps from Old English *stīepan; akin to Swedish stöpa and Danish støbe, to soak (barley for malting), cast (metal), from Germanic *staupjan, probably denominative verb from *staupan, a kind of vessel for liquids (also the source of Old Norse staup, cup; see stoup).]

steep′er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.steeper - a vessel (usually a pot or vat) used for steeping
vessel - an object used as a container (especially for liquids)
References in classic literature ?
Think of people FARMING on a slant which is so steep that the best you can say of it--if you want to be fastidiously accurate--is, that it is a little steeper than a ladder and not quite so steep as a mansard roof.
The considerable slope, at nearly the foot of which the Abbey stood, gradually acquired a steeper form beyond its grounds; and at half a mile distant was a bank of considerable abruptness and grandeur, well clothed with wood; and at the bottom of this bank, favourably placed and sheltered, rose the Abbey Mill Farm, with meadows in front, and the river making a close and handsome curve around it.
There was yet an upper staircase, of a steeper inclination and of contracted dimensions, to be ascended, before the garret story was reached.
This was felt to be a considerable amendment; and though they all met at the Great House at rather an early breakfast hour, and set off very punctually, it was so much past noon before the two carriages, Mr Musgrove's coach containing the four ladies, and Charles's curricle, in which he drove Captain Wentworth, were descending the long hill into Lyme, and entering upon the still steeper street of the town itself, that it was very evident they would not have more than time for looking about them, before the light and warmth of the day were gone.
Presently this incline became even steeper, and we found ourselves climbing upon hands and knees among loose rubble which slid from beneath us.
As we neared the cruiser I rose as though to pass above her, so that she would do just what she did do, rise at a steeper angle to force me still higher.
But through it all we came at last to where the way led up a narrow gorge that grew steeper and more impracticable at every step until before us loomed a mighty fortress buried beneath the side of an overhanging cliff.
For some time the ground had been rougher and steeper, until I had been forced to scale a considerable height that had carried me from the glacier entirely.
They had entered the mountains now, and were progressing more slowly, for the trail was steeper and very rocky.
Back at the farm-house, Daylight mounted and rode on away from the ranch and into the wilder canons and steeper steeps beyond.
Father Brown had mounted ahead; for the woodland path grew smaller, steeper, and more twisted, till they felt as if they were ascending a winding staircase.
Anon they turn into narrower and steeper staircases, and the night-air begins to blow upon them, and the chirp of some startled jackdaw or frightened rook precedes the heavy beating of wings in a confined space, and the beating down of dust and straws upon their heads.