Definition of wrong-foot in English:



[with object]British
  • 1(in a game) play so as to catch (an opponent) off balance.

    ‘Cook wrong-footed the defence with a low free kick’
    • ‘The midfielder's shot was straight into the ground but took a ricochet and wrong-footed Davison.’
    • ‘The ball fell to wide man Ian Ross and his deflected snapshot from the 18-yard line wrong-footed keeper Tony Bullock.’
    • ‘Ferdinand will wince when he sees how he was wrong-footed as Szabics evaded him with a run from midfield and then, from the edge of the penalty area, side-footed a precise shot beyond Howard.’
    • ‘But I wrong-footed him and bent it around the wall and into the bottom right of his net, and it was hit with such force he had no way of getting back to it.’
    • ‘From the restart after Loughborough kicked a penalty, Oxford worked the ball to left winger Adam Slade on the blind side, who wrong-footed the Loughborough defence to score.’
    • ‘Smicer again picked him out with an astute pass in the 18th minute that wrong-footed the visitors' defence.’
    • ‘It looked like City's luck was in when Combe was wrong-footed by Matthieu Louis-Jean's drive that deflected off team-mate Danny Sonner.’
    • ‘It followed a period of sustained pressure which had seen Figo wrong-foot three United defenders and chip the ball on to the crossbar.’
    • ‘A slick side-step wrong-footed the Dewsbury full back and Stepho looked poised to score, but he was held just two yards short of the try line.’
    • ‘Mendieta curls an absolute beauty, wrong-footing a bemused Arendse, which flies into the corner.’
    • ‘A minute later Sylvain Wiltord's strike hit Ian Baraclough to wrong-foot Ludek Miklosko and the game was all but over.’
    • ‘Having wrong-footed a defender challenging him, he found the net from a static position.’
    • ‘He wrong-footed fullback Sean Barnes with a clever change of pace and dived over in the corner.’
    • ‘He cuts inside the last defender and wrong-foots the keeper.’
    • ‘Joe Cole has a speculator from 25 yards, it hits Lucio's heel, and completely wrong-foots Mary Shelley's Oliver Kahn.’
    • ‘Smith's well struck shot beat James Mackey, who was wrong-footed by a wicked deflection off a Mill defender.’
    • ‘Centre Graham Mackay added both goals, but Deacon gave the visitors hope when he wrong-footed defender Adam Maher to slice through for Bradford's try.’
    • ‘As more Stuttgart players were drawn towards him, his reverse pass wrong-footed the entire defence to leave Giggs scampering clear before rolling his shot calmly beyond Hildebrand.’
    • ‘Sanchez wrong-foots Henman for the first time in the match as the Briton heads to the net once more.’
    • ‘Kabba volleyed home from an oblique angle, wrong-footing Lewis Price.’
    catch out, trap, trick, outwit, outsmart
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Put (someone) in a difficult situation by saying or doing something unexpected.
      ‘an announcement regarded as an attempt to wrong-foot the opposition’
      • ‘His problem now is that, with an election in the offing, his political opponents will look for every opportunity to wrong-foot him and that is sad for the country.’
      • ‘A good apology, properly timed, is like a good judo throw - it can totally wrong-foot an opponent.’
      • ‘In four years he had gone from nobody to totemic figure, each new direction he took wrong-footing fans who were desperately trying to keep pace with him.’
      • ‘His remarks prompted speculation last night that the Government was purposefully sending out mixed messages to try and wrong-foot opposition.’
      • ‘Investors were wrong-footed by the quarter-point reduction to 3.75%, the lowest rate since 1955.’
      • ‘There's no doubt in my mind that it was ‘brought forward’ in order to wrong-foot any planned attacks.’
      • ‘There are occasions during The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek when the excellent cast are wrong-footed by their author.’
      • ‘Final track Come and Go completely wrong-foots you with its bossa-nova beat.’
      • ‘I was once wrong-footed by a 22-year-old Smith who decided to explain the basics of the harmonic scale to me in a London café bar.’
      • ‘‘It is a question of taking a tragedy and making a political issue out of it, attempting to wrong-foot the government on this issue,’ he said.’
      • ‘Loach wrong-foots his characters from the start, as they are all seemingly unaware of these antecedents.’
      • ‘In addition, the Leader of the Opposition has twice been spectacularly wrong-footed over the aftermath of the conflict.’
      • ‘The action two weeks ago was the first time since the mid-1980s that effective mass secondary strike action has taken place, wrong-footing the employers and also, sadly, the tortoise-like structures of our own official trade unionism.’
      • ‘But we were wrong-footed a little bit by the regulations and other teams do the better job.’
      • ‘He fails completely, of course, but with his attempts to confound and wrong-foot audiences more used to linear stories, it is a noble failure.’
      • ‘The alliance wrong-foots the opposition who are not expecting a power on the brink of elimination to switch sides to its conqueror.’
      • ‘Joss Whedon delivers a nicely paced storyline, one which only hints at some of the motivations of the major players and frequently wrong-foots the reader.’
      • ‘About Schmidt is a clinic in tone, a comedy so consistently melancholy it continually wrong-foots its audience in a good way.’
      • ‘While latching on to the up-country trend, the industry here found itself wrong-footed and woefully short of male dancing talents.’
      • ‘Most impressive of all, Armantrout retains, nine books into her career, the ability to wrong-foot her reader entirely.’