Definition of flat-footed in English:



  • 1Having a condition in which the foot has an arch that is lower than usual.

    ‘a flat-footed, overweight colonel’
    • ‘Murray is fine as long as his character isn't waxing poetic, and Laura Teasdale provides some very welcome comic relief as the flat-footed maid Cathleen.’
    • ‘It feels as if all the ligaments in my body are going to snap at any moment and my feet are so flat-footed it's like walking on glass.’
    • ‘There is no trace left in the whole of London of the old, flat-footed waiters whose eyes were all over the place and who did their job so brilliantly that a pleasant symbiosis developed between them and the guests.’
    • ‘I spent a lot of time watching my feet, making sure to throw off of my left foot rather than resorting to my old flat-footed infielder peg.’
    • ‘In contrast, the A. afarensis bone resembled that of the flat-footed apes, making it improbable that its foot had an arch like our own.’
    • ‘He diagnosed her as flat-footed and knock-kneed.’
    • ‘Parents with flat-footed children sometimes say their children are clumsier than other kids.’
    • ‘As a child I was supremely flat-footed in the outdoors, which, combined with my fear of falling over, made me a third wheel on outings of all kinds.’
    • ‘But while the defender stood flat-footed, the striker followed the flight of the ball, attempted to take it under control and, in fluffing his first touch, shinned it into the net.’
    1. 1.1informal Clumsy, awkward, or uninspired.
      ‘a flat-footed prose style’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the tone mandated by the flat-footed New Yorker style drains his story of any emotional connection to events unfolding in the narrative.’
      • ‘And the uninspired direction from Shawn Levy feels particularly flat-footed.’
      clumsy, awkward, blundering, bumbling, lumbering, shambling
      View synonyms


  • catch someone flat-footed

    • informal Take someone by surprise.

      ‘the rise of regional conflicts has caught military planners flat-footed’