Definition of foothold in English:



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

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