(a) flat stone (usu one of several) providing a place to step on when crossing a stream, river, etc on foot （过河等用的）踏脚石.
(b) (fig 比喻) means or stage of progress towards achieving or attaining sth 藉以达到目标的手段或阶段
*a first stepping-stone on the path to success 通向成功的第一步.
something that helps you to progress towards achieving something
The course will be a stepping stone to another career.
stepping stones [plural]
a row of large flat stones that you walk on to get across a stream
1. But none of them has been turned to stone yet! 但到目前为止还没有一个变成石头呢！
2. But most of all, he sunk his dishonest gains into this village that captured his heart with its fine stone cottages, its central area of green grass, green rows of hedges, and its fantastic view of rolling fields and pine forests disappearing into th 但是最主要的，是他将不法收入投进了这座山村。精致的石屋农舍，茵茵的村中绿地，一排排青青的树篱，以及绵延起伏的原野与松林，像古代行进的士兵渐渐消失于远方的地平线上——这一派奇异的景色深深地吸引了他。
3. By installing optical fiber, digital switches, and the latest wireless transmission systems, a parade of urban centers and industrial zones from Beijing to Budapest are stepping directly into the Information Age. 由于安装了光纤电缆、数字转换器和最新的无线传输系统，从北京到布达佩斯的一系列城区和工业区正在直接跨入信息时代。
4. Wood and stone are building materials. 木材和石头是建筑材料。
5. We could use pulleys to move the huge stone. 我们可以用滑轮来搬动这块大石头。
6. Why did you throw that stone at me? Did you intend to kill me? 你为什么把那石头丢向我, 你想杀我吗?
7. We felt sure that sooner or later a stone would rip a hole in our petrol tank or damage the engine. 我们想念迟早会飞起一个石块把油箱砸开一个窟窿，或者把发动机砸坏。
8. Workaholism is a problem that has been evident since the Stone Age whenever people have sought to escape other parts of their lives through work. 工作狂自石器时代起就成了一个很明显的问题了——每当人们试图通过工作来逃避他们生活中的其他部分时就会出现这个问题。
9. There is a stone erecting on the boundary between the two countries. 在两国的交界上, 立着一块石碑。
10. There is a big stone in the centre of a peach. 桃子中心有一个大核儿。