Definition of foot in English:



  • 1The lower extremity of the leg below the ankle, on which a person stands or walks.

    • ‘Stabilize yourself on an exercise ball with feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor.’
    • ‘Loop one end of the tubing around the ball of the foot with the injured ankle.’
    • ‘Swiftly, she sat up, putting her cold bare feet on the wooden floor and standing.’
    • ‘He then stepped his right foot in front of him, digging it into the earth in front of him.’
    • ‘Passive range of motion of the foot and ankle joints should be assessed for indications of restricted movement.’
    • ‘The girls' feet crunched loudly in the near silence after the rain.’
    • ‘He stamped his booted foot, knowing that Vin had something to do with her disappearance.’
    • ‘Gout is caused by deposits of uric acid in joints of the feet or ankles, that lead to inflammatory arthritis.’
    • ‘The floor lit up at intervals below Lissie's feet as she stood in the middle of the dance floor.’
    • ‘The Antipodes were the body's extremities, its feet or its finger nails.’
    • ‘This mainly affects the ankles, knees and feet, but may also involve the eyes and even the heart.’
    • ‘A sensor in the heel measures changes in compression each time the wearer's foot hits the ground.’
    • ‘This slows blood circulation and causes even more fluid to build up in your feet and ankles.’
    • ‘The discovery will help scientists better understand how our early ancestors began to walk on two feet.’
    • ‘I sometimes feel like I need to dunk my cold feet in some warm water.’
    • ‘Her tired, sore feet pounded the pavement.’
    • ‘But the dancer's feet moved to the rhythms of Kathak, drummed on the tabla.’
    • ‘She stamped one bare foot on the ground.’
    • ‘But there is a feeling that Lock has his foot off the pedal here.’
    • ‘He put his left foot in the stirrup, and then sat there.’
    tootsie, trotter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A corresponding part of the leg in vertebrate animals.
      • ‘Therefore, we also drew a small sample of lymph from an incision made into the web between two toes of a hind foot.’
      • ‘At last, their horses' feet touched the dirt of the road.’
      • ‘As in the case of macropodid hind feet, the fourth toe is the longest and strongest.’
      • ‘Beyond the cut, the beetle can feed without gumming up its feet and mouthparts.’
      • ‘His left hind foot is set firmly against the hero's head.’
      • ‘The animal takes off with a push from its large and muscular hind limbs and lands on its hind feet and tail.’
      • ‘They have an opposable hallux on their hind feet, and their pelage is soft, thick, and wooly.’
      • ‘Legs and feet of males are mostly black or brown, whereas females are white or red.’
      • ‘The floor of the print tends to be drawn upwards as the animal withdrew its foot from wet and sticky sediments.’
      • ‘Their tails are long but not prehensile, and their feet are not syndactylous.’
      • ‘The symptoms are a milder form of the painful blisters that appear around the mouth, nose and feet in animals.’
      • ‘As is true of all members of their order, they are diprotodont and their hind feet are syndactylous.’
      • ‘They have long snouts, small eyes, large, clawed feet and long nearly naked tails.’
      • ‘Such a move would be the economic equivalent of an animal gnawing off its foot to get out of a trap.’
      • ‘Albatrosses are seabirds with long, narrow wings, a short tail and large webbed feet.’
      • ‘Boobies use their wings and feet frequently in displays and in aerial greetings.’
      • ‘The health of the foot throughout the animal's life is based on a good solid heel base.’
      • ‘Both the foot and the parapodia are innervated by nerve trunks originating most often from the pedal ganglia.’
      • ‘Their talons are sharp and hooked and their feet are zygodactyl with a reversible fourth toe.’
      • ‘The bird's webbed feet, angled upward, skim across the water.’
      paw, forepaw, hind paw, hoof, trotter, pad
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Zoology A locomotory or adhesive organ of an invertebrate.
      • ‘These two bones together link the leg to the foot at the ankle joint, although it is the tibia which carries all the weight.’
      • ‘This is especially common in larger spider veins around the feet and ankles.’
      • ‘If no improvement occurs, referral to a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon is appropriate.’
      • ‘Typical symptoms include breathlessness, swollen ankles and feet, and extreme tiredness.’
      • ‘This uncommon lesion occurs predominantly in the small bones of the hands and feet, not the ankle.’
    3. 1.3The part of a sock, stocking, etc. that covers the foot.
      • ‘There are many different knotting styles that can be used for naalbinding, and it was used mainly to produce gloves, or the feet of socks.’
      • ‘Simply knit around and around until the foot of the sock reaches two inches.’
      • ‘Turn right side out and slide the shoe onto the foot of the stocking.’
    4. 1.4West Indian A person's body below the torso, including the entire leg and the foot.
    5. 1.5literary [mass noun]A person's manner or speed of walking or running.
      ‘fleet of foot’
      • ‘Not a devastating puncher, the charismatic Baby Bull, more than makes up for it with uncanny speed of foot and hand.’
      • ‘They can be daring, innovating in their original approach to scams, and certainly fleet of foot.’
      • ‘The hardy of soul and fleet of foot will be Yomping through Eden this summer.’
      • ‘Even today, Campbell is remembered more for his bruising running style than for being fleet of foot.’
      • ‘He had never been strong, but his Nymphian heritage had blessed him with speed, as he was light and fleet of foot.’
      • ‘It demonstrated US ability to be fleet of foot in a rapidly changing situation.’
      • ‘No animal is so fleet of foot or so powerful that it will not one day succumb to the jaws of the hyena.’
      • ‘In his position, Bergkamp has never really felt the necessity for speed of foot.’
      • ‘The young Ali was pure boxing brilliance, backing up his bravado with breathtaking speed of hand and foot and sublime skills.’
      • ‘Next the team's linebackers are fleet of foot and quick to the tackle.’
      • ‘However, he is armed with two things which are valued higher than anything else these days, speed of foot and a refusal to lose.’
      • ‘It seems the one who is fleet of foot and fair of face didn't fancy staying in France for another year.’
      • ‘Sunny Bay is renowned for its quick turn of foot and it often made good late runs to surge ahead at the line.’
      • ‘Applied to what is known about dinosaurs, it shows that large dinosaurs were probably not fleet of foot.’
      • ‘Belloc's was a grey and white stallion called Nightwind, an aptly named steed for he was as silent as he was fleet of foot.’
      • ‘The men who they select from the whole force and station in the van are fleet of foot and fit admirably into cavalry action.’
      • ‘So they opt for an alternative offer, usually with a small firm that is more fleet of foot.’
      • ‘Fleet of foot and chock-full of pop hooks, Franz will outpace it.’
    6. 1.6British formal, historical [treated as plural]Infantry; foot soldiers.
      ‘a captain of foot’
  • 2A projecting part on which a piece of furniture or each of its legs stands.

    • ‘The table's feet, he added, are larger but similar to those on the museum's Cadwalader screen.’
    • ‘A small ball of clay or soil, pressed around the foot of the chair, bewildered us.’
    1. 2.1A device on a sewing machine for holding the material steady as it is sewn.
      • ‘When threading up any sewing machine make sure the foot is 'up' as this opens the tension disks and the thread goes between.’
      • ‘A presser foot, for a sewing machine for use in sewing slide fasteners to garments, has a foot portion pivotally mounted on a vertically movable presser bar.’
    2. 2.2Botany The part by which a petal is attached.
      • ‘The three-lobed labellum is attached to the column by a column foot, where the nectary is located.’
  • 3The lower or lowest part of something; the base or bottom.

    ‘the foot of the stairs’
    ‘complete the form at the foot of the page’
    • ‘There's a list of around 300 names in a display case at the foot of the outside stairs.’
    • ‘The flower girl reached the throne and then carefully sprinkled the rest of the flower petals at the foot of the royal chair.’
    • ‘Tomorrow, the team will be dropped by helicopter into the jungle and must trek to their base at the foot of a volcano.’
    • ‘Mr Oglesby-Wellings fell on to a tree, through its branches and came to rest at the foot of the cliff face.’
    • ‘The dive base lay at the foot of a steep boulder slope, overhung by a high, arched ceiling adorned with enormous stalactites.’
    • ‘In Satyagraha in South Africa, he speaks of the surpassing beauty of Cape Town situated at the foot of the Table Mountain.’
    • ‘She had been laid to rest at the foot of the small hill opposite the hospital.’
    • ‘He came on with Jessica St Rose aka Pepper Sauce, as her small but vibrant fan base rushed to the foot of the stage.’
    • ‘Today, this prime area of land at the foot of Table Mountain, continues to remain vacant.’
    bottom, base, toe, edge, end, lowest part, lowest point, lower limits
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1The end of a table that is furthest from where the host sits.
      • ‘Rafael starts speaking in an obscure accent as he collapses at the foot of the conference table.’
      • ‘Linda sits at the foot of the dinner table and we give her scraps.’
      • ‘Two elegant chair arms add comfort and make this chair ideal for the head or foot of the dining table.’
    2. 3.2The end of a bed, couch, or grave where the occupant's feet normally rest.
      • ‘Amanda drops her duffle bag at the foot of the couch and slumps down in the loveseat adjacent to it, exhausted.’
      • ‘The Australian sailor looks saddened as he puts a stuffed animal at the foot of her bed.’
      • ‘I lift the covers at the foot of the bed and grab at her, mostly getting a handful of her skirt.’
      • ‘Yashi bent down and smartly snapped the plug socket by the foot of the bed, cutting the power supply to the CD player.’
      • ‘Stray cats will not be allowed to sleep in our bed under the covers except at the foot.’
      • ‘Joel awoke the next day to find Oak Branch and Ivy Petal at the foot of his bed.’
      • ‘The boy-leader came over, took the blanket from the foot of the couch, and draped it over my shoulders.’
      • ‘At the foot of his bed was a dated map of the old territories.’
      • ‘He would rest at the foot of the bed until I was ready to go to sleep.’
      • ‘I missed it, instead my back hit against the bed rail post at the foot of the bed.’
      • ‘I set the stone at the foot of her grave and stared at it in silence for awhile, remembering her face, voice, and actions.’
      • ‘I have got a plot reserved for myself at the foot of their graves, but I don't like the thought of them being dug up later, splitting up the family.’
      • ‘It reached the foot of the futon and paused for breath.’
      • ‘The boys' mother had put James' Christmas stocking at the foot of his bed, instead of the side.’
      • ‘The faint smell of bacon and eggs was in the air, and Fat Louie rested comfortably at the foot of his bed as normal.’
      • ‘Quartz stopped at the foot of his grave, tears flowing down her cheeks.’
      • ‘She kicked the covers to the foot of the bed, swapped her pillow for another, and nestled as close to the wall as she could.’
      • ‘He sat at the foot of the grave, and let the tears come, for what seemed like hours.’
    3. 3.3The lower edge of a sail.
      • ‘One must be careful not to cup the sail with too little tension on the foot of the sail by having the outhaul to loose.’
      • ‘With the sail laying down, rake sail back until the foot of the sail is touching the tail of the board.’
  • 4A unit of linear measure equal to 12 inches (30.48 cm)

    ‘shallow water no more than a foot deep’
    ‘he's about six feet tall’
    • ‘They will safely see you through Hermit Rapid at 12,000 cubic feet per second.’
    • ‘Maximum flood rates reached 1.6 million cubic feet per second.’
    • ‘A separate building offers another 11, 625 square feet of retail space.’
    • ‘With grayish brown fur and a nearly naked tail, the animals rarely grow to more than half a foot long.’
    • ‘He stood six feet tall and was covered in coarse black fur.’
    • ‘Sally could have sworn that Michael jumped four feet into the air.’
    • ‘There was a steel grate in the ceiling about three feet by three feet.’
    • ‘They were standing on a smallish island no more than one hundred feet in diameter.’
    • ‘Off the living room is an east-facing balcony measuring five feet by six feet.’
    • ‘Nikki said the animal was about five feet long with green eyes.’
    • ‘He then stepped back three feet and closed his eyes.’
    • ‘The center was a large room a good five hundred feet in diameter and several stories high.’
    • ‘"The observation deck is over ten thousand feet above ground, " she said at one point.’
    • ‘How could one lift a twenty ton stone ten feet into the air?’
    • ‘He had dodged right into a ring of fire only twenty feet in diameter.’
    • ‘Takeshi stood a good six feet tall for a young man of 16.’
    • ‘The four-story project will comprise 40 condos and 7,500 square feet of retail space.’
    • ‘Some places report two feet of water in the streets.’
    • ‘The monster dived at Tekken as he did a back flip ten feet into the air.’
    • ‘He lunged for her, grabbing her arm as she dangled dangerously a few hundred feet off the ground.’
    1. 4.1Music [usually as modifier]A unit used in describing a set of organ pipes according to its pitch, the designation being the length of one particular pipe.
      ‘an 8-foot reed stop’
    2. 4.2Music [usually as modifier]A unit used in describing a set of harpsichord strings playing at the same pitch as a set of organ pipes of the same designation.
      ‘the 16-foot register’
      • ‘Normally it would consist of two eight foot stops and a four foot stop.’
      • ‘The largest harpsichord in the collection is described as possessing five registers and four sets of strings, one of which was probably a sixteen-foot stop.’
  • 5Prosody
    A group of syllables constituting a metrical unit. In English poetry it consists of stressed and unstressed syllables, while in ancient classical poetry it consists of long and short syllables.

    • ‘But she genuinely excels on those occasions when she employs a mixture of metrical feet.’
    • ‘A trochee is a metrical foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short.’
    • ‘The division of a line of poetry into feet is much like the division of a musical phrase into bars.’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1Cover a distance, especially a long one, on foot.

    ‘the rider was left to foot it ten or twelve miles back to camp’
    • ‘‘Yeah, let's go find a takeaway,’ agreed Ron, as they hot footed it outside.’
    • ‘But we didn't have time to worry about that, so we got changed in the hotel's swimming pool changing rooms (!) and hot footed it to the wedding.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the bus driver decides to call a one-man strike at the Palazzo Venezia and we have to foot it from there.’
    • ‘You could either sit in your car and wait, and wait, and wait, or you could hot foot it to your destination a lot quicker.’
    • ‘The vibrant heart of Pattaya has been ripped out, and replaced mostly by hordes of disconsolate people footing it to North Pattaya.’
    • ‘I carried on to the client's home and then hot footed it back home to get David.’
    go by foot, go on foot, travel on foot, foot it, be a pedestrian
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic [no object]Dance.
      ‘the dance of fairies, footing it to the cricket's song’
      trip, sway, spin, whirl, twirl, pirouette, gyrate
      View synonyms
  • 2Pay (the bill) for something, typically when the amount is considered large or unreasonable.

    • ‘Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for upgrading something to cater for an airport?’
    • ‘It's the tenant, not the owner, who pays for utility costs, but it's the owner, not the tenant, who foots the bill for energy saving upgrades.’
    • ‘As long as someone else foots the bill, the sky's the limit.’
    • ‘Talking about civil society is one thing, but who foots the bill?’
    • ‘But isn't the public, which currently foots the bill for one third of RTE's total revenue, entitled to know exactly where their money is going?’
    • ‘Should such private finance be withdrawn it is hard to see this government footing the bill so generously.’
    • ‘And who actually foots the bill for these trips?’
    • ‘Contrary to international law, it will be the world that foots the bill, estimated at $50-60 million.’
    • ‘Well then, we better get started because my father foots the bills and I want to be out on time.’
    • ‘But, regardless of the squabbling, who foots the bill?’
    • ‘The Home Office foots the bill for the traditional party autumn conferences at seaside resorts like Blackpool and Brighton.’
    • ‘The bill could be met out of public funds, which means taxpayers nationally would end up footing the bill.’
    • ‘If someone else foots the bill, then there is no incentive to cut back on the drugs or to chose a less expensive, equally effective alternative.’
    • ‘But if they help themselves instead, taxpayers end up footing the bill.’
    • ‘The sessions cost £20 and as many of the stroke victims can not work and rely on benefits, the stroke group foots the bill.’
    • ‘Anyone can effectively provide a service if someone else foots the bill.’
    • ‘The deal will cost £2.5m, with council tax payers footing £825,000 of the bill.’
    • ‘Apart from some funding from Toronto Hostel Services, Covenant House foots the bill for everything it provides.’
    • ‘What could end up happening is that the government runs the stations and foots the bill.’
    • ‘The publication is in effect accountable to whoever foots the bills.’
    pay, pay up, pay out, pay the bill, settle up
    bail someone out
    pick up the tab, cough up, fork out, shell out, come across, chip in
    stump up
    ante up, pony up, pick up the check
    View synonyms


  • at someone's feet

    • As someone's disciple or subject.

      • ‘You will sit right at their feet and be enraptured by every idea.’
      • ‘Ashka dashed past the two of them and sat on the stairs at Teenan 's feet.’
      • ‘Alison looked at Julie, sitting at Mistress Farnham 's feet and learning to knit.’
      • ‘Younger children intermittently sit at their feet and race around with their friends.’
      • ‘I moved to go sit at Haru 's feet, as any other companion was supposed to do.’
      • ‘I tell the youth that they must respect the elders and try to learn from them by sitting at their feet.’
      • ‘Then, as the rig drifts toward the lake, everyone gathers around and sits at Litton 's feet.’
      • ‘Do your students sit at your feet and follow your every word, is that an ideal relationship?’
      • ‘We never sit at their feet and learn from their experiences.’
      • ‘Their gift was to leave indelible memories of the beauty of English poetry on all who sat at their feet.’
  • be rushed (or run) off one's feet

    • Be very busy.

      • ‘But despite being rushed off their feet, staff remained courteous.’
      • ‘Posties have been weighed down delivering the Christmas post and bar staff have been rushed off their feet.’
      • ‘With 156 bedrooms to keep spic and span, she is rushed off her feet.’
      • ‘There are only a few people who can do it and the woman for this area is run off her feet.’
      • ‘A spokesman said: ‘We had expected to do brisk business, but we were rushed off our feet.’’
      • ‘She was red in the face, partly from embarrassment and partly from being rushed off her feet - the inn was unusually busy.’
      • ‘Day soon turned into night, the shop got busier, and I was rushed off my feet, but my mind not really in this world.’
      • ‘I'm confident they'll clock up a lot of mileage because we're used to being rushed off our feet round here.’
      • ‘He said yesterday: ‘The hotel and restaurant have been open for several months now, and we have been rushed off our feet.’’
      • ‘‘We've been rushed off our feet for hours,’ explained the former Rangers star with a twinkle.’
  • the boot (or north americanshoe) is on the other foot

    • The situation, in particular the holding of advantage, has reversed.

      ‘the reorganization means the boot is now on the other foot’
  • feet of clay

    • A fundamental flaw or weakness in a person otherwise revered.

      • ‘Political leaders have feet of clay and wallets wide.’
      • ‘Our generation at least had had political heros who motivated us even though they were finally shown to have feet of clay.’
      • ‘Samson was the Book of Judge's star performer and he had considerable feet of clay in keeping with this historical low point.’
      • ‘That much is true but ultimately I think we read Durcan not because he is ‘a God’ but because, like the rest of us, he has feet of clay.’
      • ‘When you know people's feet of clay before they become idols it is difficult to reimagine them.’
      • ‘Then I met him and I thought he was very much a man with feet of clay, which is very sad.’
      • ‘For, most of us like our heroes with feet of clay.’
      • ‘It was Solidarity's strength that showed - to those willing to see - that the Soviet colossus had feet of clay.’
      • ‘But I think - I saw it described once as realising your parents have feet of clay and then as you get older realising that you do as well.’
      • ‘Good or evil, it was an empire with feet of clay that shattered noisily with the Berlin Wall in 1989.’
  • get one's feet under the table

    • Establish oneself securely in a new situation.

      • ‘Until he gets his feet under the table in February, it will not be clear what a Perry-led SE will look like.’
      • ‘Now there is going to be a new chief executive who will have to settle in and get his feet under the table, which is unsettling for staff.’
      • ‘The pigopolists have barely got their feet under the table and already demanding more.’
      • ‘That will give Butt or Scholes the opportunity to get their feet under the table with their new South American buddy.’
      • ‘And of course Galbraith was moved as soon as Henry McLeish got his feet under the table.’
      • ‘The Sky Blues have flown to Portland and Salt Lake City as part of their pre-season preparations and McNamee has got his feet under the table.’
  • get one's feet wet

    • Begin to participate in an activity.

      • ‘Both women admit, however, that getting their feet wet in the business world was a bit of a scary venture at first.’
      • ‘So I got my feet wet there and through high school, so I was very fascinated with acting as a means of expression.’
      • ‘And even holy people, who can sometimes seem a bit precious about getting their feet wet, can't keep out the commercial tide.’
      • ‘Beginning snorkelers may opt to get their feet wet in Grotto Beach's tranquil waters (take a complimentary lesson first).’
      • ‘It's a great thing for getting your feet wet and figuring out whether blogging is something to which you want to devote some time.’
  • get (or start) off on the right (or wrong) foot

    • Make a good (or bad) start at something.

      • ‘The Scots started off on the wrong foot in doubles play, losing two out of three matches, therefore dropping the doubles point.’
      • ‘‘There is no getting away from our responsibilities,’ he begins, starting off on the right foot.’
      • ‘We started off on the wrong foot, and now she has a lot of attitude and is rude and mean.’
      • ‘Preparations this year quickly got off on the wrong foot.’
      • ‘Many of our housing developments started off on the right foot, with open spaces and strictly adhered to building codes.’
      • ‘And I don't know, it just all got off on the wrong foot.’
      • ‘When we met them last week, they told us they had started off on the wrong foot and to go home and think about what our homes were worth.’
      • ‘I got off on the wrong foot in that first scene that has snakes in the bed.’
      • ‘Maybe we started off on the wrong foot because she came to me at 3: 00 am as a last minute transfer out of the ICU.’
      • ‘I said I just wanted the Mahler version, so we got off on the wrong foot.’
  • have something at one's feet

    • Have something in one's power or command.

      ‘a perfect couple with the world at their feet’
      • ‘Whatever happens this weekend Khan has already proved he has the world at his feet.’
      • ‘And despite her share of legendary blunders, she still manages to have the world at her feet.’
      • ‘An active and vociferous campaigner against drugs too, Paula literally has the athletics world at her feet in adoration.’
      • ‘‘And if you can fake that,’ he would say, ‘you'll have the world at your feet.’’
      • ‘Oil under their feet changed their lifestyle in earnest from herding goats out in the desert to having the world at their feet.’
      • ‘We can provide him with massive exposure and if he stays until the next Olympics he will have the world at his feet.’
      • ‘Not only are they gifted players, they are also great personalities who have the football world at their feet.’
      • ‘With Faustus' great mind, proclaims Valdes, they will be able to harness the powers of black magic and have the world at their feet.’
      • ‘These three girls have the world at their feet when it comes to Irish dancing.’
      • ‘Today, they have the world at their feet after being plucked from the streets of Greater Manchester to become international models.’
  • have (or keep) one's (or both) feet on the ground

    • Be (or remain) practical and sensible.

      ‘it's a very exciting time for the business but it's important that we keep our feet on the ground’
      • ‘I have my feet on the ground but remain confident I can go through.’
      • ‘But he remains confident that ‘a good poem allows you to have your feet on the ground and your head in the air simultaneously’.’
      • ‘They were always genuine and kept their feet on the ground even after hitting the big time.’
      • ‘‘Jason is a great guy who has always kept his feet on the ground,’ said Campbell.’
      • ‘If he keeps his feet on the ground and maintains his progress, he'll be fine.’
      • ‘My family, especially, is very supportive and has kept my feet on the ground.’
      • ‘I see myself as a normal person, and that's what keeps your feet on the ground.’
      • ‘It keeps his feet on the ground, and it's nice to see him taking part in the fun where it all starts for players.’
      • ‘Job offers came in but rather than running off to the US or London, Dorren kept his feet on the ground.’
      • ‘He's held his own and kept his feet on the ground since coming in and is growing in stature with each game.’
  • have a foot in both camps

    • Have an interest or stake concurrently in two parties or sides.

      ‘I can have a foot in both the creative and business camps’
      • ‘‘In some senses, I've had a foot in both camps,’ he said.’
      • ‘It is Lasley who seems to have a foot in both camps, to straddle two ages: he is a young man with an older head screwed on top.’
      • ‘He is also a farm inspector for both traditional and organic farms, and he said it was unusual to have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘And in between stands the multinational corporation which has a foot in both camps if you like.’
      • ‘As one of those Reading Champions, I now have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘So I see this as very much a yin-and-yang relationship, and most of us happily have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘What is particularly gratifying in Osborne's work, is that he shows us how court families maintained a foot in each camp.’
      • ‘But where do you put those of us who have a foot in both camps?’
      • ‘So I kept my Boroughmuir hat on to an extent, and in many ways have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘T.J. has now had a foot in both camps so he can speak on this subject with some authority.’
  • have (or get) a foot in the door

    • Have (or gain) a first introduction to a profession or organization.

      • ‘So maybe, if you want to get a foot in the door, this is the way to go.’
      • ‘Basically when I came here we were trying to get a foot in the door domestically.’
      • ‘The BNP failed to get a foot in the door at the town hall again.’
      • ‘The goal, as Morris puts it, is ‘to encourage students to get a foot in the door of the industry.’’
      • ‘A spokesperson for the Athy ICA said: It is a positive step, we are happy to have a foot in the door.’
      • ‘Three times they've had a foot in the door to Super League - and three times it's been slammed in their faces.’
      • ‘Inexperienced candidates looking to get a foot in the door may have to work free.’
      • ‘If someone gets a foot in the door, performance (no other criteria) in getting good returns is almost always given for promotion.’
      • ‘Little wonder that first home buyers cannot get a foot in the door.’
      • ‘He doesn't want to spend his whole career bashing the establishment if they're inviting him to get a foot in the door.’
  • have one foot in the grave

    • humorous, informal Be near death through old age or illness.

      • ‘But I already had one foot in the grave - so to speak - so I shrugged.’
      • ‘In my industry that is like having one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘Yes, Ozzy still has one foot in the grave, but the songs are still great performed by the original band.’
      • ‘Well, the last Oireachtas final has definitely been played; the inter-provincial competition has one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘I simply don't want people to think that I have one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘You don't have to have one foot in the grave to remember the bookies' runners surreptitiously collecting betting slips in pubs.’
      • ‘Given this precarious situation we may already have one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘He may not have one foot in the grave, but someone else has a full body in it.’
      • ‘And without the game he loves, he looks to have one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘This, they said, would be the last Scottish Cup tie ever to unfold in the stadium that already has one foot in the grave.’
      deteriorate, decline, fade, fail, weaken, grow weak, flag, languish, degenerate, decay, waste away
      View synonyms
  • hold someone's feet to the fire

    • Put pressure on a person or organization in order to obtain a desired result.

      ‘he vowed to hold the government's feet to the fire on this issue’
  • my foot!

    • informal Said to express strong contradiction.

      ‘‘He's clever at his business,’ Matilda said. ‘Clever my foot!’’
      • ‘The note cautioned against any weakness of agreeing to any increase in the strength of Allied (allied, my foot!)’
  • off one's feet

    • So as to be no longer standing.

      ‘she was blown off her feet by the shock wave from the explosion’
      • ‘Doing so will take a load off your feet, and prevent your brain from becoming clogged, cluttered or crashing like your hapless personal computer.’
      • ‘If you really dig your heels into the sand, you won't get knocked off your feet when your stellar reputation is in question.’
      • ‘It's no use waiting for a knight in shining armour to ride in and sweep you off your feet.’
      • ‘Saturday morning was hideous - the raw wind nearly took you off your feet and the cold rain cut right through my thin jacket.’
      • ‘Take for example, the morning rush for trains - beware of the liquid crowds of commuters that will whisk you away and off your feet.’
      • ‘You will need to eat, you will need to take the weight off your feet and yet, at so many of the provincial tracks, eating and sitting are poorly resourced.’
      • ‘Or sit down, take the weight off your feet - look into the middle distance and dream a bit.’
      • ‘Champagne, a manicure and half an hour to take the weight off your feet - what more could a girl want?’
      • ‘At times, the pain and the pressure are enough to knock you off your feet.’
      • ‘She was scheduled to get some foot surgery and had to be off her feet for eight weeks, starting four days from then.’
  • on one's feet

    • 1Standing.

      ‘she's in the shop on her feet all day’
      • ‘You get up on your feet and walk to the table to eat.’
      • ‘The lunch break that Ser'na allowed was short, so they were soon back on their feet and walking again.’
      • ‘Instead, he swaggered awkwardly on his feet and walked about as if in a drunken state.’
      • ‘So you spend a lot of time on your feet, walking around?’
      • ‘You spend all day on your feet shopping with a friend.’
      • ‘As soon as I got the chance I was on my feet and walking again.’
      • ‘I also believe bringing back standing sections would solve the problem of people getting on their feet in all-seater areas.’
      • ‘In fact, they themselves walked unsteadily on their feet probably as a result of beer effect.’
      • ‘The thought of uniting was inevitable and my only chance of standing on my feet until I managed.’
      • ‘Nearby there is a standing desk, which allows him to stay on his feet as he works.’
      • ‘Marie was now standing on her feet, staring at the approaching aircraft.’
      • ‘I am not having him standing and shouting while I am on my feet.’
      • ‘To be fair, I don't think he was looking for a penalty - he just wasn't coordinated enough to stay on his feet.’
      1. 1.1Well enough after an illness or injury to walk about.
        ‘we'll have you back on your feet in no time’
        • ‘The doctors want her up on her feet in a few hours and walking around by tonight.’
        • ‘It is nice to be back on my feet again and walking around at last.’
        • ‘We've been held up for some time thanks to an injury to Josemi, but he seems to be on his feet again now.’
        • ‘But hopefully Bosley will be back on his feet and walking again in two months.’
        • ‘Brendan is recovering from a recent arm injury and hopefully he will be back on his feet soon.’
        • ‘Before the end of that week, I was able to stand on my feet and walk again!’
        • ‘I didn't think that you would be well enough to be on your feet.’
        • ‘On Tuesday, Maradona was on his feet for the first time, walking around his hospital room.’
        • ‘This lady who the doctors said could never be on her feet again was actually walking!’
  • on (or by) foot

    • Walking rather than travelling by car or using other transport.

      • ‘The first time he came was in 1945 when the main means of transport was by foot or rickshaw.’
      • ‘The marchers will travel, by foot and bus, through Baltimore and New Jersey before arriving in New York for a rally.’
      • ‘Motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles in the road and walk the remaining distance on foot.’
      • ‘In the past, hockey fans could walk on foot for miles to watch their favourite stars.’
      • ‘The name of this area is Martin Place, so make sure you stick to it for hassle-free, speedy travel by foot!’
      • ‘In the end, we set off on foot and walk for an hour before we manage to flag a taxi down at a crossroads.’
      • ‘Travelling by foot is completely free of charge and even in Skandia Cowes Week there were no weary queues.’
      • ‘He walked on foot into the forest as he had done many times, looking for any signs of movement in the bushes ahead.’
      • ‘Travelling on foot forces you to engage with bits of the country you don't see from a vehicle.’
      • ‘The next town was a two days walk by foot but only half a day at most by horse and wagon.’
  • on the back foot

    • Outmanoeuvred by a competitor or opponent; at a disadvantage.

      ‘Messi's early goal put Milan on the back foot’
      ‘the government found itself on the back foot as peaceful demonstrations continued’
      • ‘Crime is falling, gangland criminals are on the back foot and more gardai are on the beat than ever before.’
      • ‘Surprisingly Spurs didn't spend the rest of the night on the back foot.’
      • ‘The Irish government appeared to be put on the back foot.’
      • ‘The polls may not show much change but the government gives all the appearances of being on the back foot.’
      • ‘The exodus of people from the coastal areas of the city following media reports of a fresh tsunami on Monday night caught the administration on the back foot.’
      • ‘In reply, Australia were immediately on the back foot with the loss of David Warner for one.’
      • ‘By the early summer of 1918, the German submarines were clearly on the back foot.’
      • ‘The bank, unable to defend its position, has been on the back foot since news of the bid was leaked last Sunday.’
      • ‘In early trading today the dollar was on the back foot in Asia after suffering its biggest one day decline in three years against the Japanese yen.’
      • ‘His opponent, Leonardo Mayer, opted for an attacking game that put Murray on the back foot.’
  • on foot of

    • Because of; by reason of.

      ‘the decision was taken on foot of advice from the Attorney General’
      • ‘It was on foot of one of these monthly reviews that the decision to close the nursery was taken in August.’
      • ‘There will then be a verifiable record of what action is taken on foot of that.’
      • ‘A spokesperson for the site said they were very disappointed that on foot of legal advice they had to shut the service down.’
      • ‘Further decisions could be taken on foot of that, he said.’
      • ‘The council established a special unit last year to look into outstanding levies due on foot of granted planning permissions.’
  • on the front foot

    • Outmanoeuvring a competitor or opponent; at an advantage.

      ‘City were on the front foot from the word go’
      ‘the Prime Minister's bellicose performance was motivated by a desire to get back on the front foot’
      • ‘The fashion show was a chance for him to put his new company back on the front foot.’
      • ‘We started well and were on the front foot early on.’
      • ‘If you work in controversial areas, there is much to be gained by being on the front foot with the media.’
      • ‘These measures have the potential to slow down our trade and add costs to traders, unless we go on the front foot.’
      • ‘The Border Security Bill will put New Zealand's security on the front foot.’
      • ‘Soon enough Hearts were again on the front foot, their ability to spread the play leaving Aberdeen's players chasing shadows.’
      • ‘As any first-year PR student would tell you, it pays to get on the front foot early.’
      • ‘That completely turned the game around, and he was on the front foot once again.’
      • ‘We now have to get on the front foot and market the city aggressively.’
      • ‘Liverpool started the game on the front foot.’
  • put one's best foot forward

    • Embark on an undertaking with as much effort and determination as possible.

      • ‘Right or left, he is intent on putting his best foot forward and leaving nightmare stories behind.’
      • ‘I mean, sure, you get disappointed because you go out there putting your best foot forward.’
      • ‘More than 13,000 Wiltshire pupils have been putting their best foot forward to mark International Walk to School Week.’
      • ‘‘Politics is about putting your best foot forward and putting the other person in the worst light,’ Mr. Goldstein said.’
      • ‘It's all about the business and putting your best foot forward.’
      • ‘Darwen children will be putting their best foot forward to raise money for Barnardo's children's charity.’
      • ‘He will be putting his best foot forward and walking the 30 miles from Bolton on Good Friday.’
      • ‘In addition, there have been various groups/troupes putting their best foot forward.’
      • ‘Scouts have been putting their best foot forward to map out walking routes in Greenmount and Tottington.’
      • ‘An actuary from Brentford will be putting her best foot forward in this year's London marathon, to help charity Whizzkids.’
  • put one's feet up

    • informal Take a rest, especially when reclining with one's feet raised and supported.

      • ‘Why not put your feet up in your plush recliner and snuggle up in your $1,000 cashmere throw?’
      • ‘I'm always glad to get home, put my feet up and relax.’
      • ‘It's cosy, and the perfect place to put your feet up and relax with a well-earned pint.’
      • ‘There is a wide range of activities there, including a cyber cafe, as well as a place to relax and put one's feet up.’
      • ‘Sale's try-scoring wing-wizard is staying on in Australia and will put his feet up and rest after a stamina-sapping Lions tour.’
      • ‘The Great Hall is a place to relax and put your feet up, not to feel that your culture is inferior to another.’
      • ‘When it comes time to pump, find a nice, relaxing environment, put your feet up, listen to music, and try not to think about work.’
      • ‘We need a part of the town where people can relax, put their feet up and, in the summer especially, enjoy the good weather.’
      • ‘We trained a little and managed to put our feet up for a deserved rest and a little bit of sun.’
      • ‘Rather than putting his feet up for a well-earned rest following his tour, Peter brought fun and laughter to the hospice.’
      relax, take a rest, ease off, ease up, let up, slow down, pause, have a break, take a break, unbend, repose, laze, idle, loaf, do nothing, take time off, slack off, unwind, recharge one's batteries, be at leisure, take it easy, sit back, sit down, stand down, lounge, luxuriate, loll, slump, flop, put one's feet up, lie down, go to bed, have a nap, take a nap, nap, catnap, doze, have a siesta, take a siesta, drowse, sleep
      View synonyms
  • put foot

    • informal Hurry up; make a prompt start.

      ‘we'd better put foot—we've only got a couple of hours’
      • ‘Both Dick and I just put foot on the accelerator and sped off.’
      be quick, hurry up, move quickly, go fast, hasten, make haste, speed, speed up, lose no time, press on, push on, run, dash, rush, hurtle, dart, race, fly, flash, shoot, streak, bolt, bound, blast, charge, chase, career, scurry, scramble, scamper, scuttle, sprint, gallop, go hell for leather, go like lightning
      View synonyms
  • put one's foot down

    • 1informal Adopt a firm policy when faced with opposition or disobedience.

      • ‘‘The key to faking it,’ Johanna, 12, says, is putting your foot down: ‘Refuse to be lured into nervousness!’’
      • ‘Many employers are putting their foot down when it comes to hiring veiled women.’
      • ‘I have thought of putting my foot down but I have a sneaking suspicion some of the unruly behaviour is vaguely familiar.’
      • ‘He will probably continue to do so until management puts their foot down.’
      • ‘And Mesereau puts his foot down and says you've got to step out of the way.’
      • ‘Naturally Lou doesn't want to spend the extra cash on staff, but this time Harold is being the top and putting his foot down about it.’
      • ‘Then I thought it's because she's really nice, but then she puts her foot down.’
      • ‘If girls themselves put their foot down, maybe some change would come.’
      • ‘And it gets to the point where you have to put your foot down and just say I'm sorry, but this interview is over.’
      • ‘And the parents had put their foot down and denied permission.’
    • 2informal Accelerate a motor vehicle by pressing the accelerator pedal.

      • ‘He put his foot down on the accelerator, slamming into the back of the white car.’
      • ‘Due to my refusal he put his foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘A muscle started to twitch in his cheek as he put his foot down and accelerated through the deserted streets.’
      • ‘I stared at the crashed car in the rear view mirror until it was out of sight, then I put my foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘I turned to Laura and nodded before she put her foot down on the accelerator and sped off in the direction of her and Paul's houses.’
      • ‘In the traditional automatic, you put your foot down and then wait while the gearbox does its best to catch up with your instructions.’
      • ‘I put my foot down on the accelerator and sped away from the city.’
      • ‘‘I'm not having this,’ muttered Sarah and put her foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘Greg hadn't gotten his seat belt on, when Maxine put her foot down on the accelerator, and peeled out, after Jenny.’
      • ‘When the door had closed and they were all seated Jo put her foot down on the accelerator.’
      hurry, go fast, go quickly, make haste, hurtle, dash, dart, race, rush, fly, flash, shoot, streak, bolt, bound, blast, charge, chase, career, hurry up, speed up, scurry, scramble, scamper, scuttle, sprint, run, gallop, go like lightning, go hell for leather
      View synonyms
  • put one's foot in it (or put one's foot in one's mouth)

    • informal Say or do something tactless or embarrassing.

      • ‘We had one conversation about putting your foot in it.’
      • ‘Speaking of sports ministers, it seems they all have a knack for putting their foot in it.’
      • ‘He was constantly in fear of putting his foot in his mouth, of exposing his lack of learning.’
      • ‘But every time you feel you might just have some sympathy for Archer he puts his foot in it again.’
      • ‘These terms might not exactly trip off the tongue, but they could stop you putting your foot in it.’
      • ‘And even while he's praising things, the author seems to be putting his foot in his mouth.’
      • ‘I know I for one love comments but am always reticent to say too much on other folks' blogs for fear of putting my foot in my mouth.’
      • ‘It's a pity he didn't do his homework before putting his foot in his mouth with his announcement.’
      • ‘Although I did, for the most part, manage to avoid putting my foot in my mouth over the weekend I am guilty of committing one little faux pas.’
      • ‘One of his many problems is that he constantly puts his foot in it!’
  • put a foot wrong

    • [usually with negative]Make a mistake in performing an action.

      ‘he hardly put a foot wrong in the first round’
      • ‘A surprise selection at right back but he hardly put a foot wrong, either defensively or in possession.’
      • ‘They hardly put a foot wrong and contributed 16 points, converting two of the three tries and putting over four penalties.’
      • ‘He's the most expensive goalkeeper in the world and hardly put a foot wrong.’
      • ‘But the film, shot largely on digital video, allowing it to use mostly natural light in a smoky, hazy look, hardly puts a foot wrong.’
      • ‘That is of little relevance however, since he never puts a foot wrong in a performance that is almost better than it has a right to be.’
      • ‘Hardly put a foot wrong and used his head to good effect with a vital late clearance.’
      • ‘He was not at all inconvenienced by the furious pace and hardly put a foot wrong over the Prestbury Park fences.’
      • ‘And for a set and three quarters, Davenport hardly put a foot wrong.’
      • ‘Jay-Jay's been sensational, Laville's hardly put a foot wrong.’
      • ‘For three years now the Queen's eldest son has hardly put a foot wrong in public life.’
      perpetrate, commit, be responsible for, be guilty of, be to blame for
      View synonyms
  • set foot on (or in)

    • [often with negative]Enter; go into.

      ‘he hasn't set foot in the place since the war’
      • ‘Ten years ago, Prestwick was known chiefly as the only place in Britain that Elvis Presley had ever set foot in.’
      • ‘Shipley's is one of the most depressing places I've ever set foot in.’
      • ‘As we set foot into the promising future year after year, the greatest challenge facing any youngster is a career that will lead him to success.’
      • ‘Burai tried to ignore that as he entered and set foot on the white soiled floor.’
      • ‘So it was with a certain sense of the unknown that I stepped into the most tucked away recording studio I've ever set foot in.’
      • ‘So, when I got to Harvard I never even had a chance to set foot in the library.’
      • ‘She had been charged with perjury, after claiming in court she had never set foot in there.’
      • ‘The man who has done little else but fight for a country he has never set foot in, is ready to lay down his life for it.’
      • ‘It's odd to hear this as you enter a country you have never before set foot in.’
      • ‘So why head to the other side of the world to start afresh in a country that they have never set foot on before?’
  • set something on foot

    • archaic Set an action or process in motion.

      ‘a plan had lately been set on foot for their relief’
      • ‘It was easy to see what must be the fate of this fine system in any serious and comprehensive attempt to set it on foot in this country.’
      • ‘Lewis and Clarke, has entirely fulfilled my expectations in setting it on foot, and that the world will find that those travellers have well earned its favor.’
      • ‘This, however, would require organization and some leader to set it on foot.’
      • ‘The purposes with which they are set on foot are profit, honour, or avoidance of loss or dishonour.’
      • ‘The revolutions carry their own points, some-times to the ruin of those who set them on foot.’
      • ‘We set enquiries on foot, and it turned out that there had been an overnight break-out from Barnyards' field.’
      • ‘His patriotic feeling led Mr Dudgeon to throw himself with enthusiasm into the Volunteer movement when it was set on foot in 1859.’
  • sweep someone off their feet

    • Quickly and overpoweringly charm someone.

      • ‘Dior's extravagant creations swept them off their feet, and transported them to a sublimely flattering existence.’
      • ‘That explains this lovely lass following you, but then again, I don't think you need to pull them out of the icy sea to sweep them off their feet.’
      • ‘All women really want is a man to sweep them off their feet.’
      • ‘Women in satin dresses display a plucky determination as well as lush beauty, as men sweep them off their feet.’
      • ‘He sweeps them off their feet, uses them for his own selfish purposes, and then dumps them when he gets tired of them.’
      • ‘The whole chivalry thing was probably some ploy to catch unsuspecting girls off guard only to sweep them off their feet and then discard them later.’
      • ‘Both girls giggled and returned to their work with dreams of weddings, white dresses, and handsome men sweeping them off their feet occupying their thoughts.’
      • ‘Both of the women said Swaby had been charming and swept them off their feet at first, buying them lots of gifts.’
      overcome, move, stir, affect, touch, impress, sweep someone off their feet, strike, stun, make emotional, dumbfound, shake, disturb, devastate, take aback, daze, spellbind, dazzle, floor, leave speechless, take someone's breath away, stagger
      View synonyms
  • think on one's feet

    • React to events decisively, effectively, and without prior thought.

      • ‘I can see Dallas not knowing what to do, but the other three are veterans and talk about not thinking on your feet or reacting to circumstances.’
      • ‘How the candidates think on their feet and react to the audience can be a telling sign as to how they will act once they are in office.’
      • ‘No matter what the TV says, taking an umbrella to work is thinking on your feet.’
      • ‘He thought on his feet, a very bright individual as far as prisoners go.’
      • ‘He is insightful, he has his act together, he understands what makes national security tick - and he thinks on his feet somewhere around Mach 3.’
      • ‘What marks Aparna's game is that she has a variety of strokes and she thinks on her feet.’
      • ‘She was improvising and having to think on her feet.’
      • ‘I am sort of thinking on my feet here as I react to the information from my two correspondents and from other sources.’
      • ‘He has all the physical gifts, but he also thinks on his feet.’
      • ‘It's going to be a case of common sense and thinking on your feet.’
  • to one's feet

    • To a standing position.

      ‘he leaped to his feet’
      • ‘And at the end of the performance, we rose to our feet and gave a standing ovation.’
      • ‘In every living room in Wales men leapt from sofas to their feet.’
      • ‘Rawson stomped over to her prone position and lifted her to her feet by the front of her dress.’
      • ‘The audience wasted no time in leaping to their feet to applaud a seamless opening night.’
      • ‘The grand finale brought a beguiled and enthralled audience to their feet for a standing ovation.’
      • ‘And the long clarinet solo over a thundering funk break in the closing piece makes you leap to your feet.’
      • ‘And as I stepped into the light a whole bunch of reporters leapt to their feet.’
      • ‘They leaped to their feet with delight when Harriet was announced as the winner.’
      • ‘When she completed the variation, we rose to our feet in a spontaneous standing ovation.’
      • ‘The energy sensitivity and conviction of the cast brought the audience to their feet in a standing ovation.’
  • under one's feet

    • In one's way.

      ‘when you're at home you just get under my feet’
      • ‘It's nice when I have the occasional flurry and get a few more hits, in the same way that sometimes it's nice to have a house full of people but you wouldn't want them under your feet seven days a week.’
      • ‘If you really must have them out from under your feet, get dad to take them for a long walk in the park or countryside.’
      • ‘It's nice to spend time with a partner, but it's also a blessed relief when they get out from under your feet for a while.’
      • ‘His wife, 36-year-old nurse Lenore, joked that she is just pleased that they have a hobby that gets them out from under her feet.’
      • ‘Big Harry was not best pleased because they got under his feet as he was trying to do his job.’
      • ‘‘My wife usually loves this time of year because I'm away from under her feet,’ explained Criner.’
      • ‘If he is not actually working, he would vastly prefer to putter outside or in a shed rather than to sit about getting under her feet.’
      • ‘I'm determined to help out rather than get under their feet.’
      • ‘There are 16% more doctors than four years ago - but 45% more managers getting under their feet.’
  • under foot

    • On the ground.

      ‘it is very wet under foot in places’
      • ‘Dead pine needles made the ground soft under foot.’
      • ‘In every section, you can smell the air and feel the wet leaves under foot while reading this guide.’
      • ‘Firm surfaces under foot would mean that numerous matches could be played consecutively on a pitch.’
      • ‘Usual technique for getting the nuts out from their husks/cases/whatever, consists of rolling them under foot.’
      • ‘The water under foot splashed everywhere, soaking my trainers with 10 strides.’
      • ‘It hasn't rained here for seven weeks; the grass crackles and crunches under foot, and the bushes droop with lifeless despair.’
      • ‘Laid in patterns, they're eye-catching and durable under foot.’
      • ‘The pitch is narrow, it's certain to be boggy under foot and they are not the best of lights to play under.’
      • ‘The leaves, having fragmented under foot are now going into a damp, clingy phase.’
      • ‘The nostalgic Irish immigrant could feel the land itself under foot and could lean down and touch his native soil.’


Old English fōt, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch voet and German Fuss, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit pad, pāda, Greek pous, pod-, and Latin pes, ped- foot.