Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by a gradual progression as if step by step: "Quantum mechanics is a natural system of stepwise interactions that governs very small things” ( Malcom W. Browne).
  • adj. Music Moving from one tone to an adjacent one.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. One (small) step or stage at a time; gradual; piecemeal
  • adv. One step or stage at a time; step by step

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. proceeding in steps
  • adj. one thing at a time

Etymologies

From step +‎ -wise. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This connection leads to the hypothesis that a long-term stepwise displacement of the y-direction will lead to a inflow of more Atlantic water to the Arctic Ocean and long term reduction in the extend of the Arctic ice cover.

    Risk Management Solutions Ltd and the 37 Professors « Climate Audit

  • When Mosher and Pratt broke out the figures by age, the percentage of those expected to suffer from impaired fecundity increased in stepwise fashion.

    Delayed Childbearing

  • To reach that stage, the informal English is replaced by progressively more detailed sequences of statements, in the process known as stepwise refinement.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Being cooled and re-warmed is a lot more attractive than uploading, unless it was done incrementally, as a kind of stepwise replacement of wetware with h/w, maintaining awareness throughout.

    The Speculist: Canine Cryonics

  • Klitzing discovered in a similar experiment that the Hall resistance does not vary in linear fashion, but "stepwise" with the strength of the magnetic field (see figure 2).

    Press Release: The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics

  • He also praises the authors on their "stepwise" approach to collection of stroke data: "The present study from rural and urban Tanzania both sets new standards for stroke incidence studies in Africa and suggests that improved prevention is urgently needed to reduce the already high stroke incidence rates in these populations."

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • "stepwise" approach was recommended, rather than a comprehensive tax reform introduced in one package.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • That would be tantamount to Darwin saying "If I can't explain in stepwise detail how a given organ came to be, my theory is sunk."

    A New Book

  • The arching sixth leap and stepwise fallback leading to the Tristan chord comes directly from Berlioz's opening phrase of yearning in the Romeo Alone sequence of his symphony.

    Rodney Punt: A Glowing Roméo et Juliette -- Charles Dutoit with the LA Philharmonic in Berlioz

  • This slow, stepwise approach to building a blockbuster medicine marks a departure from the industry's past, when companies developed drugs for common illnesses like hypertension and then used heavy marketing to rack up sales.

    Novartis Seeks New Use for Ilaris

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