Definition of footstep in English:



  • A step taken by a person in walking, especially as heard by another person.

    ‘he heard footsteps behind him’
    ‘the footsteps receded’
    ‘he dogged her footsteps’
    • ‘You've closed the door in your room, but you can hear his footsteps coming up the stairs.’
    • ‘He heard footsteps from behind the black door, and a shadow formed underneath it.’
    • ‘She sits up with an apprehensive stare into the distance, as if she heard a footstep on the strange track she has elected to follow.’
    • ‘He was about to turn away, when he heard footsteps coming up the church path from the gate.’
    • ‘On the way to geography I heard footsteps behind me and it sounded as if someone was trying to sneak up on me.’
    • ‘Occasionally she heard muffled footsteps pacing in the hallways and rooms below her.’
    • ‘The girl looked up as she heard Rick's soft footsteps against the metal gangplank.’
    • ‘She was startled as she heard the footsteps of two people clattering down the stairwell.’
    • ‘I could still smell him in the laundry, hear his footstep, and run my hands over tools he'd touched every day.’
    • ‘At night time it is said you can still hear her footsteps as she ascends that staircase.’
    • ‘You can feel the rough fabric of theatre greens and the heat of the delivery room and hear your footsteps on the ward.’
    • ‘I heard a footstep a few yards away, and I turned slowly.’
    • ‘I heard a footstep behind me, and I looked to see blue leather pants.’
    • ‘I turned round after hearing some footsteps behind me and he was right in my face.’
    • ‘As she walked towards the town centre with a friend, she heard footsteps behind her.’
    • ‘Finally she heard a faint footstep, a click-clacking of undoubtedly expensive shoes that grew heavier as they came nearer.’
    • ‘The door opened and he heard the footsteps as Ben walked in and closed the door behind him.’
    • ‘Doreen was lying awake in a hospital room when she heard the footsteps coming to her door in the early hours.’
    • ‘If she heard footsteps she would wonder whether it was him, if he'd be there when she got home from school.’
    • ‘It had only been five minute into her break when she heard footsteps behind her.’
    footfall, step, stride, tread, pace, stomp, stamp
    View synonyms


  • follow (or tread) in someone's footsteps

    • Do as another person did before, especially in making a journey or following a particular career.

      ‘my father was a flight sergeant and I followed in his footsteps’
      • ‘He founded a sect which holds him up as the Great Exemplar of mankind, and scarcely one member of which even tries to tread in his footsteps.’
      • ‘All French leaders since de Gaulle have trod in his footsteps and followed his lead on most issues, until at least very recently.’
      • ‘Timothy trod in his footsteps, and loved to care for the saints, but he could not say this of all.’
      • ‘I'm very much treading in her footsteps, because she was one of the first women in this country to climb in the Himalayas and was part of the 1929 expedition to Nepal.’
      • ‘From her home in Cairns, Australia, she was stunned to find her name double was treading in her footsteps 30 years on.’
      • ‘I also needed street plans and photos of the town, I imagined that maps and images would let me re-imagine my father's walk to work, tread in his footsteps, though his feet are bigger than mine.’
      • ‘Gargano, now 42, knows all about conniving promoters, vicious opponents, dodgy decisions and the seamy side of boxing politics, but has no hesitation in allowing his sons to tread in his footsteps.’
      • ‘But she thought she could tread in his footsteps the American way; she didn't require the services of twenty bodyguards like he did.’
      • ‘The whole life of the just is an illustration of his pious feelings and noble principles; his children will observe him, will imitate him, will follow his precepts, and tread in his footsteps, and will therefore be happy after him.’
      • ‘Faithfully and devoutly will I tread in his footsteps, that I may be influenced by his consummate life, be a worthy heir of his sublime inheritance and have a vestige of his in me.’