Definition of flat-footed in English:


Pronunciation /ˌflætˈfʊdəd//ˌflætˈfʊdəd/


  • 1Having flat feet.

    ‘a flat-footed, overweight cop’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Parents with flat-footed children sometimes say their children are clumsier than other kids.’
    • ‘He diagnosed her as flat-footed and knock-kneed.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2informal Unable to move quickly and smoothly; clumsy.

    ‘getting caught in flat-footed ignorance can be uncomfortable’
    • ‘Thanks to the reworked chassis and air suspension, it certainly feels no more cumbersome or flat-footed than any other 4x4 I've driven.’
    • ‘Their backs were flat-footed with the ball in hand.’
    • ‘He has the ability to stop and start quickly, leaving defenders flat-footed with his change-of-direction speed.’
    • ‘They were caught flat-footed, but they quickly assembled for the fight at hand.’
    • ‘They left the Japanese defence looking awkward and flat-footed.’
    • ‘Last Saturday, the Crusaders backs were consistently flat-footed when they received the ball, while the Stormers were nearly always moving at pace.’
    • ‘Both players possess plenty of pace and, as Ballycam Celtic proved, that is the one thing that is likely to trouble a flat-footed Rovers defence.’
    clumsy, awkward, blundering, bumbling, lumbering, shambling
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Not clever or imaginative; uninspired.
      ‘he has little space for anecdote, but the text is no flat-footed catalog’


  • catch someone flat-footed

    • informal Take someone by surprise.

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