Definition of foothold in English:



  • 1A place where a person's foot can be lodged to support them securely, especially while climbing.

    • ‘Eva brushed at the tears that filled her eyes and swung over the edge of the cliff, her feet sliding easily into cracks that made natural footholds.’
    • ‘Going down had been easy, but with no handholds or footholds, coming up was proving to be much harder than I'd expected.’
    • ‘A couple of times her footholds cracked and she plunged a few heart-stopping feet, but luckily she grabbed another hold.’
    • ‘Carishia placed one foot upon the foothold and threw her other leg over Windom.’
    • ‘Twice she had to stop to rest, her arms trembling with the strain, locking her feet into semi-secure footholds and leaning into the rock.’
    • ‘Yet even as I stood observing him, that tenuous foothold gave way and he slid backwards.’
    • ‘I bend under contorted branches and let myself down by dropping two or three feet to the next foothold.’
    • ‘Lazarus shook his head and sighed, but nevertheless used the handholds and footholds Ghost had made to climb the wall.’
    • ‘At one point, though only for a few yards, we had to find tentative footholds while hanging on to a cable.’
    • ‘Handholds became footholds, although the deeper and more sound you made them, the more exhausted you became.’
    • ‘There were no footholds, and I'm afraid of heights.’
    • ‘The walls were sheer with no footholds or grooves for climbing.’
    • ‘They conveniently happened to be in the best places for footholds and handholds.’
    • ‘Whatever the cause, I felt dizzy, and without any bearings or footholds.’
    • ‘There are no footholds on this particular cliff face.’
    • ‘You might also jam with your hands while using footholds outside of the crack.’
    • ‘The path plunged downhill at a near-sheer angle, with few hand or footholds, but a free-swinging knotted rope to hang on to.’
    • ‘The cliff was maybe eighty feet high, with not too many footholds.’
    • ‘Right foot, right hand, left foot, left hand, his hands and feet found footholds like an expert.’
    • ‘I put my arms on a choice piece of rock and heaved, dragging my body up while my feet unsuccessfully tried to locate footholds.’
    toehold, hold, grip, anchorage, purchase, secure position, firm contact, support
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually in singular A secure position from which further progress may be made.
      ‘the company is attempting to gain a foothold in the Russian market’
      • ‘Cable firms took full advantage of BT's slow start and established a strong foothold.’
      • ‘Regency Gates and Railings has now established a firm foothold in the commercial and domestic exterior homes market.’
      • ‘More encouragingly, having weathered the storm, the Minstermen set about establishing a foothold in the game.’
      • ‘In the days following the D-Day landings, Allied troops carved a tenuous foothold on the coast of Normandy.’
      • ‘But it's found a foothold in the industry already.’
      • ‘Still, Sweeney feels confident that the changes under way in Boston are gaining a firm foothold.’
      • ‘For most actors, being identified with a genre helps maintain a foot-hold in a tough industry.’
      • ‘You are bracing to maintain your foothold on your fitness center enrollment.’
      • ‘Existing designer labels will be promoted and provided with an opportunity to gain footholds in global markets.’
      • ‘Respect has now got a strong foothold in east London, where the labour movement started off.’
      • ‘And it's given them a foothold in the game, after 15 minutes in which they were run ragged.’
      • ‘How likely is it for evil to regain a foothold anywhere?’
      • ‘This cannibal killer has already secured a foothold in the South East - and scientists believe it could spread quickly.’
      • ‘There's nothing immediate here for people struggling to get a foothold on the property ladder.’
      • ‘Samsung's experience in handsets will doubtless help it gain a foothold in these markets.’
      • ‘Something has crossed our lives so that we are about to lose foothold in the public world of common sense.’
      • ‘Analysts say Golkar boasts the most qualified candidates and has a strong foothold throughout Indonesia.’
      • ‘Regaining a foothold in international psychology was a hard-won achievement, to be sure.’
      • ‘Deutsche Bank has been trying without success to get a firm foothold in the market.’
      • ‘MCI is attempting to regain its financial foothold after emerging from bankruptcy in April.’