to step on someone's toes

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - step on toes

"to step on someone's toes"

to upset someone by interfering with something that is their responsibility


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - step on toes

Two roommates are talking ...

Roommate 1:  Seriously? You went and talked to the landlord? I told you I was going to take care of negotiating a late rent payment with the landlord.

Roommate 2:  Sorry.  I didn't mean to step on your toes.

Roommate 1:  Well, now, thanks to your interference the landlord is demanding that the rent be paid tomorrow.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - step on toes

Two accountants are talking ...

Accountant 1:  I am supposed to be doing an efficiency audit with recommendations.

Accountant 2:  You are not going to be very popular around the office. People are going to resent you telling them how to do their jobs.

Accountant 1:  We accountants are used to stepping on toes.  It comes with the job.

to step on someone's toes - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   532   click for frequency by country

to step on someone's toes - Gerund Form:

Stepping on a colleague's toes by interfering with their project can cause resentment.

to step on someone's toes - Examples:

1)  ... everybody is specialized at their job, and one person stepping on the toes of another is minimized.

2)  They have to be careful of stepping on the toes of other vendors in the product area, though.

3)  Delegate when possible and avoid "stepping on the toes" of your colleagues, but when something needs to get done, ...

4)  Apparently the president has to be careful about stepping on the toes of Congress in order to have any chance of getting new legislation enacted.

5)  ... define my cultural identity, relative to the political minefield of not stepping on the toes of anyone else's identity- as if I could avoid that- explain why I felt ...

6)  It's quite another thing to go outside one's division and step on the toes of work which would normally be entirely done by other people in the firm, ...

7)  ... seeking not to step on the toes of the mayor and his crew on important issues.

8)  Being a bass player I know enough not to step on the toes of the other musicians.

9)  They'd like to be polite and not step on any toes, especially commercially powerful ones.

10)  Umunna admitted that although he has tried to avoid stepping on their toes, some fellow Labour MPs are jealous of him.

11)  ... so I wasn't competing with another department or worried about stepping on their toes.

12)  don't know what that job is, they may feel you're stepping on their toes. A lot of times these conflicts are a result of role clashes more ...

13)  ... the right frequency is about repeating your contact with a client without stepping on their toes.

14)  ... try not to treat them too different, don't step on their toes but be supportive and let them allow you in at their own pace and will ...

15)  You want to be included but you don't want to step on their toes. He's really easy to work with and he's very tactful.

16)  We've got to step on their toes more and get them more frustrated.

17)  ... not want to hear this and I hope that I'm not stepping on your toes, but my suggestion is that you put in the effort required to ...

18)  Whether in-laws or not, people know too well when they are stepping on your toes and crossing their boundary so learn to establish your minimum threshold.

19)  Working between the various departments without stepping on any toes and flagging issues without causing a ruckus was a challenge.

20)  We all try to work together so nobody is stepping on any toes, and so trespassers stay out.