To soak in a liquid; to macerate; to extract the essence of by soaking; as, to soften seed by steeping it in water. Often used figuratively. "Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep." (Shak) "In refreshing dew to steep The little, trembling flowers." (Wordsworth) "The learned of the nation were steeped in Latin." (Earle)

Origin: OE. Stepen, probably fr. Icel. Steypa to cause to stoop, cast down, pour out, to cast metals, causative of stupa to stoop; cf. Sw. Stopa to cast, to steep, Dan. Stobe, D. & G. Stippen to steep, to dip. Cf. Stoop.

1. Something steeped, or used in steeping; a fertilizing liquid to hasten the germination of seeds.

2. A rennet bag.

(01 Mar 1998)

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