step up to the plate

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An allusion to taking one's turn at bat in baseball.


  • (file)


step up to the plate (third-person singular simple present steps up to the plate, present participle stepping up to the plate, simple past and past participle stepped up to the plate)

  1. (chiefly US, idiomatic) To initiate action; to assume or take a responsibility.
    Synonyms: volunteer, offer
    • 2008 June 12, Beth Stackpole, “The IT pro's vacation planner”, in Computerworld[1], retrieved 17 June 2020:
      Surround yourself with good people who can reliably step up to the plate and solve problems when they occur.
    • 2013, Janice Gow Pettey, Nonprofit Fundraising Strategy, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 207:
      When you introduce a new and very important issue, you are likely to inspire some of those who have been sitting back to step up to the plate and take on the new role of promoting ethical practice.
    • 2014, Henry Evans; Colm Foster, Step Up, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 78:
      However, every time you fail to do something, you make it harder to step up to the plate for the next challenge. Think of this ability and willingness to step up as a competency or skill that you can develop over time.
    • 2021 January 27, Paul Clifton, “What is the future of the RDG?”, in RAIL, issue 923, page 44:
      "There is something in railway people that has encouraged them to step up to the plate," says Starr.

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