Step up to the plate

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Step up to the plate is an idiom that originated in America. We will examine the meaning of the expression step up to the plate, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

The phrase step up to the plate means to take responsibility for something, to rise to the occasion, to accept a challenge. Usually, the connotation is of someone taking on a responsibility or challenge in an admirable way because it was not expected of them or because the situation affects many people. The idiom step up to the plate is derived from the American sport of baseball. Home plate is the beginning position in baseball, designated by a flat marker known as home plate. The batter literally steps up to the plate in a designated area in order to swing at the pitched ball. The phrase step up to the plate is still used literally to describe a baseball batter taking the batting position. The expression step up to the plate took on a figurative meaning sometime around the turn of the twentieth century. Related phrases are steps up to the plate, stepped up to the plate, stepping up to the plate. Step up to the plate is one of many idioms that have been derived from sports, including the home stretch, the ball is in your court, Monday morning quarterback, level playing field, and throw in the towel.


One, it builds trust among a team and a willingness for others to step up to the plate when called upon. (Forbes Magazine)

With presenters from local organizations, companies and individuals from all over the Central Valley, the purpose of the event was to get students to participate in a variety of activities to inspire them to “step up to the plate,” whether that means finding their true passion, empowering themselves to protect the environment, to help others, or to go to college. (The Porterville Recorder)

The players were versatile and coachable enough to adopt any style of play needed on a given week, and on Sunday, they stepped up to the plate by perfectly executing a masterful gameplan from coach Bill Belichick and defensive playcaller Brian Flores. (The Gloucester Daily Times)

As busy families eat out more frequently than generations past, they are demanding healthier and more interesting meal options for kids — and restaurants are increasingly stepping up to the plate. (The Chicago Tribune)