From door +‎ step.



doorstep (plural doorsteps)

  1. An outside step leading up to the door of a building, usually a home.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      Ailie was standing by the doorstep as he came down the road, and her heart stood still with joy.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 10, in The China Governess[1]:
      With a little manœuvring they contrived to meet on the doorstep which was [] in a boiling stream of passers-by, hurrying business people speeding past in a flurry of fumes and dust in the bright haze.
  2. (figuratively) One's immediate neighbourhood or locality.
    They want to build the prison right on our doorstep; it will only be half a mile away and being that close scares me.
    • 1962 May, G. Freeman Allen, “Traffic control on the Great Northern Line”, in Modern Railways, page 343:
      As a Hitchin signalman once pointed out to me, when a regulating quandary arises concerning a fast-moving Class A train there is no time to consult Control and get their answer before the express is on one's doorstep.
    • 2021 November 17, Mark Rand, “Reconnecting rail freight to S&C quarries”, in RAIL, number 944, page 52:
      Milk from the Eden Valley could be on London doorsteps the next morning. Limestone and agricultural lime from the Ribble Valley and gypsum from further north could at last be transported long distances by the trainload. The railway had been driven along, over and through the valuable substances that were on its doorstep, much akin to the situation in Britain's coalfields.
  3. (UK, informal) A big slice, especially of bread.
    • 2003, Diana Wynne Jones, The Merlin Conspiracy, P 241 →ISBN
      I cut myself a doorstep of bread with masses of butter and went along to see Romanov while I was eating it.



doorstep (third-person singular simple present doorsteps, present participle doorstepping, simple past and past participle doorstepped)

  1. (intransitive) To visit one household after another to solicit sales, charitable donations, political support, etc.
  2. (transitive, journalism) To corner somebody for an unexpected interview.
    • 1998, Emily O'Reilly, Veronica Guerin: The Life and Death of a Crime Reporter:
      Throughout her time in journalism, she doorstepped politicians, the child of a politician, crime victims, armed robbers, murderers, suspected murderers...
    • 2006, Denis O'Hearn, Nothing But an Unfinished Song:
      Surprisingly few people refused to talk, even those I doorstepped or telephoned out of the blue.

See alsoEdit





  1. (journalism) A short and informal press briefing
    Statsministeren holder doorstep i Statsministeriet.
    The Prime Minister is holding an informal press briefing at the Prime Minister's Office.