Nic Brough's explanation: https://answers.atlassian.com/questions/68597/on-the-usage-of-jira-workflow-status-and-steps
Maybe this will help before someone will give you detailed explanation:
A step represents a workflow's current status for an issue. An issue can exist in one step only at any point in time. Each workflow step corresponds to a linked status . When an issue is moved into a particular step, its status field is updated to the value of the step's linked status.
Although steps and statuses are treated separately when administering workflows, they are effectively synonymous concepts in JIRA and as such, it usually helps to name a step after its linked status (source https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA050/Configuring+Workflow)
Step is a part of workflow and status is a part of issue. Just that!. You need to map each step of your workflow with one status and there are 1:1 relationship between them. Transitions is a bridge that link to steps with each other for movineg issues from one step to another. If you new to jira I suggest this book for you for start administrating it:
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