Meaning of foot in English:


Pronunciation /fʊt/

See synonyms for foot

Translate foot into Spanish

nounplural noun feet/fiːt/

  • 1The lower extremity of the leg below the ankle, on which a person stands or walks.

    ‘The Antipodes were the body's extremities, its feet or its finger nails.’
    • ‘Loop one end of the tubing around the ball of the foot with the injured ankle.’
    • ‘This slows blood circulation and causes even more fluid to build up in your feet and ankles.’
    • ‘This mainly affects the ankles, knees and feet, but may also involve the eyes and even the heart.’
    • ‘Gout is caused by deposits of uric acid in joints of the feet or ankles, that lead to inflammatory arthritis.’
    • ‘Passive range of motion of the foot and ankle joints should be assessed for indications of restricted movement.’
    • ‘The floor lit up at intervals below Lissie's feet as she stood in the middle of the dance floor.’
    • ‘The discovery will help scientists better understand how our early ancestors began to walk on two feet.’
    • ‘She stamped one bare foot on the ground.’
    • ‘Swiftly, she sat up, putting her cold bare feet on the wooden floor and standing.’
    • ‘He put his left foot in the stirrup, and then sat there.’
    • ‘He then stepped his right foot in front of him, digging it into the earth in front of him.’
    • ‘He stamped his booted foot, knowing that Vin had something to do with her disappearance.’
    • ‘Her tired, sore feet pounded the pavement.’
    • ‘But there is a feeling that Lock has his foot off the pedal here.’
    • ‘I sometimes feel like I need to dunk my cold feet in some warm water.’
    • ‘Stabilize yourself on an exercise ball with feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor.’
    • ‘A sensor in the heel measures changes in compression each time the wearer's foot hits the ground.’
    • ‘The girls' feet crunched loudly in the near silence after the rain.’
    • ‘But the dancer's feet moved to the rhythms of Kathak, drummed on the tabla.’
    tootsie, trotter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A corresponding part of the leg in vertebrate animals.
      ‘The floor of the print tends to be drawn upwards as the animal withdrew its foot from wet and sticky sediments.’
      • ‘They have an opposable hallux on their hind feet, and their pelage is soft, thick, and wooly.’
      • ‘The animal takes off with a push from its large and muscular hind limbs and lands on its hind feet and tail.’
      • ‘Their tails are long but not prehensile, and their feet are not syndactylous.’
      • ‘Both the foot and the parapodia are innervated by nerve trunks originating most often from the pedal ganglia.’
      • ‘Therefore, we also drew a small sample of lymph from an incision made into the web between two toes of a hind foot.’
      • ‘Such a move would be the economic equivalent of an animal gnawing off its foot to get out of a trap.’
      • ‘The symptoms are a milder form of the painful blisters that appear around the mouth, nose and feet in animals.’
      • ‘As in the case of macropodid hind feet, the fourth toe is the longest and strongest.’
      • ‘As is true of all members of their order, they are diprotodont and their hind feet are syndactylous.’
      • ‘The health of the foot throughout the animal's life is based on a good solid heel base.’
      • ‘Their talons are sharp and hooked and their feet are zygodactyl with a reversible fourth toe.’
      • ‘Albatrosses are seabirds with long, narrow wings, a short tail and large webbed feet.’
      • ‘Boobies use their wings and feet frequently in displays and in aerial greetings.’
      • ‘Legs and feet of males are mostly black or brown, whereas females are white or red.’
      • ‘They have long snouts, small eyes, large, clawed feet and long nearly naked tails.’
      • ‘Beyond the cut, the beetle can feed without gumming up its feet and mouthparts.’
      • ‘His left hind foot is set firmly against the hero's head.’
      • ‘The bird's webbed feet, angled upward, skim across the water.’
      • ‘At last, their horses' feet touched the dirt of the road.’
      paw, forepaw, hind paw, hoof, trotter, pad
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Zoology A locomotory or adhesive organ of an invertebrate.
      ‘Typical symptoms include breathlessness, swollen ankles and feet, and extreme tiredness.’
      • ‘This is especially common in larger spider veins around the feet and ankles.’
      • ‘This uncommon lesion occurs predominantly in the small bones of the hands and feet, not the ankle.’
      • ‘These two bones together link the leg to the foot at the ankle joint, although it is the tibia which carries all the weight.’
      • ‘If no improvement occurs, referral to a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon is appropriate.’
    3. 1.3The part of a sock, stocking, etc. that covers the foot.
      ‘There are many different knotting styles that can be used for naalbinding, and it was used mainly to produce gloves, or the feet of socks.’
      • ‘Simply knit around and around until the foot of the sock reaches two inches.’
      • ‘Turn right side out and slide the shoe onto the foot of the stocking.’
    4. 1.4West Indian A person's body below the torso, including the entire leg and the foot.
    5. 1.5 literary mass noun A person's manner or speed of walking or running.
      ‘fleet of foot’
      • ‘However, he is armed with two things which are valued higher than anything else these days, speed of foot and a refusal to lose.’
      • ‘In his position, Bergkamp has never really felt the necessity for speed of foot.’
      • ‘He had never been strong, but his Nymphian heritage had blessed him with speed, as he was light and fleet of foot.’
      • ‘Fleet of foot and chock-full of pop hooks, Franz will outpace it.’
      • ‘It demonstrated US ability to be fleet of foot in a rapidly changing situation.’
      • ‘The hardy of soul and fleet of foot will be Yomping through Eden this summer.’
      • ‘So they opt for an alternative offer, usually with a small firm that is more fleet of foot.’
      • ‘Not a devastating puncher, the charismatic Baby Bull, more than makes up for it with uncanny speed of foot and hand.’
      • ‘The young Ali was pure boxing brilliance, backing up his bravado with breathtaking speed of hand and foot and sublime skills.’
      • ‘Sunny Bay is renowned for its quick turn of foot and it often made good late runs to surge ahead at the line.’
      • ‘Next the team's linebackers are fleet of foot and quick to the tackle.’
      • ‘Belloc's was a grey and white stallion called Nightwind, an aptly named steed for he was as silent as he was fleet of foot.’
      • ‘Even today, Campbell is remembered more for his bruising running style than for being fleet of foot.’
      • ‘They can be daring, innovating in their original approach to scams, and certainly fleet of foot.’
      • ‘The men who they select from the whole force and station in the van are fleet of foot and fit admirably into cavalry action.’
      • ‘It seems the one who is fleet of foot and fair of face didn't fancy staying in France for another year.’
      • ‘No animal is so fleet of foot or so powerful that it will not one day succumb to the jaws of the hyena.’
      • ‘Applied to what is known about dinosaurs, it shows that large dinosaurs were probably not fleet of foot.’
    6. 1.6British historical, formal treated as plural Infantry; foot soldiers.
      • ‘a captain of foot’
  • 2A projecting part on which a piece of furniture or each of its legs stands.

    ‘The table's feet, he added, are larger but similar to those on the museum's Cadwalader screen.’
    • ‘A small ball of clay or soil, pressed around the foot of the chair, bewildered us.’
    1. 2.1A device on a sewing machine for holding the material steady as it is sewn.
      ‘A presser foot, for a sewing machine for use in sewing slide fasteners to garments, has a foot portion pivotally mounted on a vertically movable presser bar.’
      • ‘When threading up any sewing machine make sure the foot is 'up' as this opens the tension disks and the thread goes between.’
    2. 2.2Botany The part by which a petal is attached.
      • ‘The three-lobed labellum is attached to the column by a column foot, where the nectary is located.’
  • 3The lower or lowest part of something; the base or bottom.

    ‘the foot of the stairs’
    • ‘complete the form at the foot of the page’
    • ‘Tomorrow, the team will be dropped by helicopter into the jungle and must trek to their base at the foot of a volcano.’
    • ‘He came on with Jessica St Rose aka Pepper Sauce, as her small but vibrant fan base rushed to the foot of the stage.’
    • ‘The dive base lay at the foot of a steep boulder slope, overhung by a high, arched ceiling adorned with enormous stalactites.’
    • ‘There's a list of around 300 names in a display case at the foot of the outside stairs.’
    • ‘In Satyagraha in South Africa, he speaks of the surpassing beauty of Cape Town situated at the foot of the Table Mountain.’
    • ‘Today, this prime area of land at the foot of Table Mountain, continues to remain vacant.’
    • ‘The flower girl reached the throne and then carefully sprinkled the rest of the flower petals at the foot of the royal chair.’
    • ‘She had been laid to rest at the foot of the small hill opposite the hospital.’
    • ‘Mr Oglesby-Wellings fell on to a tree, through its branches and came to rest at the foot of the cliff face.’
    bottom, base, toe, edge, end, lowest part, lowest point, lower limits
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    1. 3.1The end of a table that is furthest from where the host sits.
      ‘Rafael starts speaking in an obscure accent as he collapses at the foot of the conference table.’
      • ‘Linda sits at the foot of the dinner table and we give her scraps.’
      • ‘Two elegant chair arms add comfort and make this chair ideal for the head or foot of the dining table.’
    2. 3.2The end of a bed, couch, or grave where the occupant's feet normally rest.
      ‘I have got a plot reserved for myself at the foot of their graves, but I don't like the thought of them being dug up later, splitting up the family.’
      • ‘I set the stone at the foot of her grave and stared at it in silence for awhile, remembering her face, voice, and actions.’
      • ‘Quartz stopped at the foot of his grave, tears flowing down her cheeks.’
      • ‘He would rest at the foot of the bed until I was ready to go to sleep.’
      • ‘The boy-leader came over, took the blanket from the foot of the couch, and draped it over my shoulders.’
      • ‘Amanda drops her duffle bag at the foot of the couch and slumps down in the loveseat adjacent to it, exhausted.’
      • ‘The faint smell of bacon and eggs was in the air, and Fat Louie rested comfortably at the foot of his bed as normal.’
      • ‘He sat at the foot of the grave, and let the tears come, for what seemed like hours.’
      • ‘At the foot of his bed was a dated map of the old territories.’
      • ‘The Australian sailor looks saddened as he puts a stuffed animal at the foot of her bed.’
      • ‘The boys' mother had put James' Christmas stocking at the foot of his bed, instead of the side.’
      • ‘She kicked the covers to the foot of the bed, swapped her pillow for another, and nestled as close to the wall as she could.’
      • ‘I lift the covers at the foot of the bed and grab at her, mostly getting a handful of her skirt.’
      • ‘Stray cats will not be allowed to sleep in our bed under the covers except at the foot.’
      • ‘Yashi bent down and smartly snapped the plug socket by the foot of the bed, cutting the power supply to the CD player.’
      • ‘I missed it, instead my back hit against the bed rail post at the foot of the bed.’
      • ‘It reached the foot of the futon and paused for breath.’
      • ‘Joel awoke the next day to find Oak Branch and Ivy Petal at the foot of his bed.’
    3. 3.3The lower edge of a sail.
      ‘One must be careful not to cup the sail with too little tension on the foot of the sail by having the outhaul to loose.’
      • ‘With the sail laying down, rake sail back until the foot of the sail is touching the tail of the board.’
  • 4A unit of linear measure equal to 12 inches (30.48 cm)

    ‘shallow water no more than a foot deep’
    • ‘he's about six feet tall’
    • ‘Takeshi stood a good six feet tall for a young man of 16.’
    • ‘He stood six feet tall and was covered in coarse black fur.’
    • ‘The center was a large room a good five hundred feet in diameter and several stories high.’
    • ‘They were standing on a smallish island no more than one hundred feet in diameter.’
    • ‘The monster dived at Tekken as he did a back flip ten feet into the air.’
    • ‘He lunged for her, grabbing her arm as she dangled dangerously a few hundred feet off the ground.’
    • ‘How could one lift a twenty ton stone ten feet into the air?’
    • ‘"The observation deck is over ten thousand feet above ground, " she said at one point.’
    • ‘He then stepped back three feet and closed his eyes.’
    • ‘Sally could have sworn that Michael jumped four feet into the air.’
    • ‘They will safely see you through Hermit Rapid at 12,000 cubic feet per second.’
    • ‘Maximum flood rates reached 1.6 million cubic feet per second.’
    • ‘Some places report two feet of water in the streets.’
    • ‘A separate building offers another 11, 625 square feet of retail space.’
    • ‘The four-story project will comprise 40 condos and 7,500 square feet of retail space.’
    • ‘He had dodged right into a ring of fire only twenty feet in diameter.’
    • ‘There was a steel grate in the ceiling about three feet by three feet.’
    • ‘Off the living room is an east-facing balcony measuring five feet by six feet.’
    • ‘Nikki said the animal was about five feet long with green eyes.’
    • ‘With grayish brown fur and a nearly naked tail, the animals rarely grow to more than half a foot long.’
    1. 4.1Music usually as modifier A unit used in describing a set of organ pipes according to its pitch, the designation being the length of one particular pipe.
      • ‘an 8-foot reed stop’
    2. 4.2Music usually as modifier A unit used in describing a set of harpsichord strings playing at the same pitch as a set of organ pipes of the same designation.
      ‘the 16-foot register’
      • ‘Normally it would consist of two eight foot stops and a four foot stop.’
      • ‘The largest harpsichord in the collection is described as possessing five registers and four sets of strings, one of which was probably a sixteen-foot stop.’
  • 5Prosody
    A group of syllables constituting a metrical unit. In English poetry it consists of stressed and unstressed syllables, while in ancient classical poetry it consists of long and short syllables.

    ‘A trochee is a metrical foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short.’
    • ‘The division of a line of poetry into feet is much like the division of a musical phrase into bars.’
    • ‘But she genuinely excels on those occasions when she employs a mixture of metrical feet.’


foot it
  • 1 informal Cover a distance, especially a long one, on foot.

    • ‘the rider was left to foot it ten or twelve miles back to camp’
    • ‘But we didn't have time to worry about that, so we got changed in the hotel's swimming pool changing rooms (!) and hot footed it to the wedding.’
    • ‘‘Yeah, let's go find a takeaway,’ agreed Ron, as they hot footed it outside.’
    • ‘I carried on to the client's home and then hot footed it back home to get David.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the bus driver decides to call a one-man strike at the Palazzo Venezia and we have to foot it from there.’
    • ‘You could either sit in your car and wait, and wait, and wait, or you could hot foot it to your destination a lot quicker.’
    • ‘The vibrant heart of Pattaya has been ripped out, and replaced mostly by hordes of disconsolate people footing it to North Pattaya.’
    go by foot, go on foot, travel on foot, foot it, be a pedestrian
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 archaic Dance.
      • ‘the dance of fairies, footing it to the cricket's song’
      trip, sway, spin, whirl, twirl, pirouette, gyrate
      View synonyms


    at someone's feet
    • As someone's disciple or subject.

      ‘We never sit at their feet and learn from their experiences.’
      • ‘Their gift was to leave indelible memories of the beauty of English poetry on all who sat at their feet.’
      • ‘Then, as the rig drifts toward the lake, everyone gathers around and sits at Litton 's feet.’
      • ‘Do your students sit at your feet and follow your every word, is that an ideal relationship?’
      • ‘You will sit right at their feet and be enraptured by every idea.’
      • ‘I tell the youth that they must respect the elders and try to learn from them by sitting at their feet.’
      • ‘Younger children intermittently sit at their feet and race around with their friends.’
      • ‘Alison looked at Julie, sitting at Mistress Farnham 's feet and learning to knit.’
      • ‘I moved to go sit at Haru 's feet, as any other companion was supposed to do.’
      • ‘Ashka dashed past the two of them and sat on the stairs at Teenan 's feet.’
    be rushed off one's feet
    • Be very busy.

      ‘Day soon turned into night, the shop got busier, and I was rushed off my feet, but my mind not really in this world.’
      • ‘She was red in the face, partly from embarrassment and partly from being rushed off her feet - the inn was unusually busy.’
      • ‘A spokesman said: ‘We had expected to do brisk business, but we were rushed off our feet.’’
      • ‘With 156 bedrooms to keep spic and span, she is rushed off her feet.’
      • ‘There are only a few people who can do it and the woman for this area is run off her feet.’
      • ‘But despite being rushed off their feet, staff remained courteous.’
      • ‘I'm confident they'll clock up a lot of mileage because we're used to being rushed off our feet round here.’
      • ‘Posties have been weighed down delivering the Christmas post and bar staff have been rushed off their feet.’
      • ‘He said yesterday: ‘The hotel and restaurant have been open for several months now, and we have been rushed off our feet.’’
      • ‘‘We've been rushed off our feet for hours,’ explained the former Rangers star with a twinkle.’
    feet of clay
    • A fundamental flaw or weakness in a person otherwise revered.

      ‘Then I met him and I thought he was very much a man with feet of clay, which is very sad.’
      • ‘It was Solidarity's strength that showed - to those willing to see - that the Soviet colossus had feet of clay.’
      • ‘For, most of us like our heroes with feet of clay.’
      • ‘But I think - I saw it described once as realising your parents have feet of clay and then as you get older realising that you do as well.’
      • ‘That much is true but ultimately I think we read Durcan not because he is ‘a God’ but because, like the rest of us, he has feet of clay.’
      • ‘Samson was the Book of Judge's star performer and he had considerable feet of clay in keeping with this historical low point.’
      • ‘Political leaders have feet of clay and wallets wide.’
      • ‘Good or evil, it was an empire with feet of clay that shattered noisily with the Berlin Wall in 1989.’
      • ‘When you know people's feet of clay before they become idols it is difficult to reimagine them.’
      • ‘Our generation at least had had political heros who motivated us even though they were finally shown to have feet of clay.’


      With biblical allusion (Dan. 2:33) to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, in which a magnificent idol has feet ‘part of iron and part of clay’; Daniel interprets this to signify a future kingdom that will be ‘partly strong, and partly broken’, and will eventually fall.

    foot the bill
    • Pay the bill for something, typically when the amount is considered large or unreasonable.

      • ‘the couple were left to foot the bill after their claim was declined by their travel insurers’
    get off on the right foot
    • Make a good start at something, especially a task or relationship.

      ‘‘There is no getting away from our responsibilities,’ he begins, starting off on the right foot.’
      • ‘When we met them last week, they told us they had started off on the wrong foot and to go home and think about what our homes were worth.’
      • ‘Maybe we started off on the wrong foot because she came to me at 3: 00 am as a last minute transfer out of the ICU.’
      • ‘The Scots started off on the wrong foot in doubles play, losing two out of three matches, therefore dropping the doubles point.’
      • ‘We started off on the wrong foot, and now she has a lot of attitude and is rude and mean.’
      • ‘Many of our housing developments started off on the right foot, with open spaces and strictly adhered to building codes.’
      • ‘I got off on the wrong foot in that first scene that has snakes in the bed.’
      • ‘And I don't know, it just all got off on the wrong foot.’
      • ‘Preparations this year quickly got off on the wrong foot.’
      • ‘I said I just wanted the Mahler version, so we got off on the wrong foot.’
    get off on the wrong foot
    • Make a bad start at something, especially a task or relationship.

    get one's feet under the table
    mainly British
    • Establish oneself securely in a new situation.

      ‘And of course Galbraith was moved as soon as Henry McLeish got his feet under the table.’
      • ‘Until he gets his feet under the table in February, it will not be clear what a Perry-led SE will look like.’
      • ‘Now there is going to be a new chief executive who will have to settle in and get his feet under the table, which is unsettling for staff.’
      • ‘The pigopolists have barely got their feet under the table and already demanding more.’
      • ‘The Sky Blues have flown to Portland and Salt Lake City as part of their pre-season preparations and McNamee has got his feet under the table.’
      • ‘That will give Butt or Scholes the opportunity to get their feet under the table with their new South American buddy.’
    get one's feet wet
    • Begin to participate in an activity.

      ‘Beginning snorkelers may opt to get their feet wet in Grotto Beach's tranquil waters (take a complimentary lesson first).’
      • ‘So I got my feet wet there and through high school, so I was very fascinated with acting as a means of expression.’
      • ‘It's a great thing for getting your feet wet and figuring out whether blogging is something to which you want to devote some time.’
      • ‘And even holy people, who can sometimes seem a bit precious about getting their feet wet, can't keep out the commercial tide.’
      • ‘Both women admit, however, that getting their feet wet in the business world was a bit of a scary venture at first.’
    have a foot in both camps
    • Have an interest or stake concurrently in two parties or sides.

      ‘I can have a foot in both the creative and business camps’
      • ‘So I kept my Boroughmuir hat on to an extent, and in many ways have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘So I see this as very much a yin-and-yang relationship, and most of us happily have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘As one of those Reading Champions, I now have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘It is Lasley who seems to have a foot in both camps, to straddle two ages: he is a young man with an older head screwed on top.’
      • ‘He is also a farm inspector for both traditional and organic farms, and he said it was unusual to have a foot in both camps.’
      • ‘And in between stands the multinational corporation which has a foot in both camps if you like.’
      • ‘‘In some senses, I've had a foot in both camps,’ he said.’
      • ‘T.J. has now had a foot in both camps so he can speak on this subject with some authority.’
      • ‘But where do you put those of us who have a foot in both camps?’
      • ‘What is particularly gratifying in Osborne's work, is that he shows us how court families maintained a foot in each camp.’
    have a foot in the door
    • Have or gain a first introduction to a profession or organization.

      ‘A spokesperson for the Athy ICA said: It is a positive step, we are happy to have a foot in the door.’
      • ‘Three times they've had a foot in the door to Super League - and three times it's been slammed in their faces.’
      • ‘If someone gets a foot in the door, performance (no other criteria) in getting good returns is almost always given for promotion.’
      • ‘Basically when I came here we were trying to get a foot in the door domestically.’
      • ‘The goal, as Morris puts it, is ‘to encourage students to get a foot in the door of the industry.’’
      • ‘Little wonder that first home buyers cannot get a foot in the door.’
      • ‘The BNP failed to get a foot in the door at the town hall again.’
      • ‘He doesn't want to spend his whole career bashing the establishment if they're inviting him to get a foot in the door.’
      • ‘So maybe, if you want to get a foot in the door, this is the way to go.’
      • ‘Inexperienced candidates looking to get a foot in the door may have to work free.’
    have one foot in the grave
    informal, often humorous
    • Be near death through old age or illness.

      • ‘Given this precarious situation we may already have one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘You don't have to have one foot in the grave to remember the bookies' runners surreptitiously collecting betting slips in pubs.’
      • ‘And without the game he loves, he looks to have one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘He may not have one foot in the grave, but someone else has a full body in it.’
      • ‘Well, the last Oireachtas final has definitely been played; the inter-provincial competition has one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘This, they said, would be the last Scottish Cup tie ever to unfold in the stadium that already has one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘In my industry that is like having one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘I simply don't want people to think that I have one foot in the grave.’
      • ‘Yes, Ozzy still has one foot in the grave, but the songs are still great performed by the original band.’
      • ‘But I already had one foot in the grave - so to speak - so I shrugged.’
    have one's feet on the ground
    • Be practical and sensible.

      ‘I'm a man coming from a family of farmers and I have my feet on the ground’
      • ‘I have my feet on the ground but remain confident I can go through.’
      • ‘But he remains confident that ‘a good poem allows you to have your feet on the ground and your head in the air simultaneously’.’
      • ‘They were always genuine and kept their feet on the ground even after hitting the big time.’
      • ‘My family, especially, is very supportive and has kept my feet on the ground.’
      • ‘He's held his own and kept his feet on the ground since coming in and is growing in stature with each game.’
      • ‘‘Jason is a great guy who has always kept his feet on the ground,’ said Campbell.’
      • ‘Job offers came in but rather than running off to the US or London, Dorren kept his feet on the ground.’
      • ‘I see myself as a normal person, and that's what keeps your feet on the ground.’
      • ‘If he keeps his feet on the ground and maintains his progress, he'll be fine.’
      • ‘It keeps his feet on the ground, and it's nice to see him taking part in the fun where it all starts for players.’
    have something at one's feet
    • Have something in one's power or command.

      ‘a perfect couple with the world at their feet’
      • ‘With Faustus' great mind, proclaims Valdes, they will be able to harness the powers of black magic and have the world at their feet.’
      • ‘Oil under their feet changed their lifestyle in earnest from herding goats out in the desert to having the world at their feet.’
      • ‘Not only are they gifted players, they are also great personalities who have the football world at their feet.’
      • ‘‘And if you can fake that,’ he would say, ‘you'll have the world at your feet.’’
      • ‘Today, they have the world at their feet after being plucked from the streets of Greater Manchester to become international models.’
      • ‘These three girls have the world at their feet when it comes to Irish dancing.’
      • ‘We can provide him with massive exposure and if he stays until the next Olympics he will have the world at his feet.’
      • ‘And despite her share of legendary blunders, she still manages to have the world at her feet.’
      • ‘An active and vociferous campaigner against drugs too, Paula literally has the athletics world at her feet in adoration.’
      • ‘Whatever happens this weekend Khan has already proved he has the world at his feet.’
    hold someone's feet to the fire
    mainly US
    • Put pressure on a person or organization in order to obtain a desired result.

      • ‘he vowed to hold the government's feet to the fire on this issue’
    keep one's feet on the ground
    • Remain practical and sensible.

      • ‘it's a very exciting time for the business but it's important that we keep our feet on the ground’
    my foot!
    • Said to express strong contradiction.

      • ‘‘He's clever at his business,’ Matilda said. ‘Clever my foot!’’
      • ‘The note cautioned against any weakness of agreeing to any increase in the strength of Allied (allied, my foot!)’
    off one's feet
    • So as to be no longer standing.

      ‘she was blown off her feet by the shock wave from the explosion’
      • ‘She was scheduled to get some foot surgery and had to be off her feet for eight weeks, starting four days from then.’
      • ‘It's no use waiting for a knight in shining armour to ride in and sweep you off your feet.’
      • ‘Or sit down, take the weight off your feet - look into the middle distance and dream a bit.’
      • ‘If you really dig your heels into the sand, you won't get knocked off your feet when your stellar reputation is in question.’
      • ‘Doing so will take a load off your feet, and prevent your brain from becoming clogged, cluttered or crashing like your hapless personal computer.’
      • ‘Saturday morning was hideous - the raw wind nearly took you off your feet and the cold rain cut right through my thin jacket.’
      • ‘Take for example, the morning rush for trains - beware of the liquid crowds of commuters that will whisk you away and off your feet.’
      • ‘Champagne, a manicure and half an hour to take the weight off your feet - what more could a girl want?’
      • ‘You will need to eat, you will need to take the weight off your feet and yet, at so many of the provincial tracks, eating and sitting are poorly resourced.’
      • ‘At times, the pain and the pressure are enough to knock you off your feet.’
    on foot
    • Walking rather than travelling by car or using other transport.

      ‘Motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles in the road and walk the remaining distance on foot.’
      • ‘The first time he came was in 1945 when the main means of transport was by foot or rickshaw.’
      • ‘In the past, hockey fans could walk on foot for miles to watch their favourite stars.’
      • ‘He walked on foot into the forest as he had done many times, looking for any signs of movement in the bushes ahead.’
      • ‘In the end, we set off on foot and walk for an hour before we manage to flag a taxi down at a crossroads.’
      • ‘The next town was a two days walk by foot but only half a day at most by horse and wagon.’
      • ‘Travelling on foot forces you to engage with bits of the country you don't see from a vehicle.’
      • ‘The name of this area is Martin Place, so make sure you stick to it for hassle-free, speedy travel by foot!’
      • ‘The marchers will travel, by foot and bus, through Baltimore and New Jersey before arriving in New York for a rally.’
      • ‘Travelling by foot is completely free of charge and even in Skandia Cowes Week there were no weary queues.’
    on foot of
    • Because of; by reason of.

      ‘the decision was taken on foot of advice from the Attorney General’
      • ‘Further decisions could be taken on foot of that, he said.’
      • ‘The council established a special unit last year to look into outstanding levies due on foot of granted planning permissions.’
      • ‘There will then be a verifiable record of what action is taken on foot of that.’
      • ‘A spokesperson for the site said they were very disappointed that on foot of legal advice they had to shut the service down.’
      • ‘It was on foot of one of these monthly reviews that the decision to close the nursery was taken in August.’
    on one's feet
    • 1Standing.

      ‘she's in the shop on her feet all day’
      • ‘The thought of uniting was inevitable and my only chance of standing on my feet until I managed.’
      • ‘Marie was now standing on her feet, staring at the approaching aircraft.’
      • ‘You spend all day on your feet shopping with a friend.’
      • ‘I also believe bringing back standing sections would solve the problem of people getting on their feet in all-seater areas.’
      • ‘Nearby there is a standing desk, which allows him to stay on his feet as he works.’
      • ‘I am not having him standing and shouting while I am on my feet.’
      • ‘So you spend a lot of time on your feet, walking around?’
      • ‘As soon as I got the chance I was on my feet and walking again.’
      • ‘You get up on your feet and walk to the table to eat.’
      • ‘The lunch break that Ser'na allowed was short, so they were soon back on their feet and walking again.’
      • ‘In fact, they themselves walked unsteadily on their feet probably as a result of beer effect.’
      • ‘To be fair, I don't think he was looking for a penalty - he just wasn't coordinated enough to stay on his feet.’
      • ‘Instead, he swaggered awkwardly on his feet and walked about as if in a drunken state.’
      1. 1.1Well enough after an illness or injury to walk about.
        ‘we'll have you back on your feet in no time’
        • ‘But hopefully Bosley will be back on his feet and walking again in two months.’
        • ‘This lady who the doctors said could never be on her feet again was actually walking!’
        • ‘I didn't think that you would be well enough to be on your feet.’
        • ‘Before the end of that week, I was able to stand on my feet and walk again!’
        • ‘It is nice to be back on my feet again and walking around at last.’
        • ‘On Tuesday, Maradona was on his feet for the first time, walking around his hospital room.’
        • ‘Brendan is recovering from a recent arm injury and hopefully he will be back on his feet soon.’
        • ‘The doctors want her up on her feet in a few hours and walking around by tonight.’
        • ‘We've been held up for some time thanks to an injury to Josemi, but he seems to be on his feet again now.’
    on the back foot
    • Outmanoeuvred by a competitor or opponent; at a disadvantage.

      ‘Messi's early goal put Milan on the back foot’
      • ‘the government found itself on the back foot as peaceful demonstrations continued’
      • ‘By the early summer of 1918, the German submarines were clearly on the back foot.’
      • ‘The Irish government appeared to be put on the back foot.’
      • ‘The polls may not show much change but the government gives all the appearances of being on the back foot.’
      • ‘The exodus of people from the coastal areas of the city following media reports of a fresh tsunami on Monday night caught the administration on the back foot.’
      • ‘The bank, unable to defend its position, has been on the back foot since news of the bid was leaked last Sunday.’
      • ‘Crime is falling, gangland criminals are on the back foot and more gardai are on the beat than ever before.’
      • ‘Surprisingly Spurs didn't spend the rest of the night on the back foot.’
      • ‘In early trading today the dollar was on the back foot in Asia after suffering its biggest one day decline in three years against the Japanese yen.’
      • ‘In reply, Australia were immediately on the back foot with the loss of David Warner for one.’
      • ‘His opponent, Leonardo Mayer, opted for an attacking game that put Murray on the back foot.’
    on the front foot
    • Outmanoeuvring a competitor or opponent; at an advantage.

      ‘City were on the front foot from the word go’
      • ‘the Prime Minister's bellicose performance was motivated by a desire to get back on the front foot’
      • ‘The Border Security Bill will put New Zealand's security on the front foot.’
      • ‘The fashion show was a chance for him to put his new company back on the front foot.’
      • ‘Soon enough Hearts were again on the front foot, their ability to spread the play leaving Aberdeen's players chasing shadows.’
      • ‘These measures have the potential to slow down our trade and add costs to traders, unless we go on the front foot.’
      • ‘That completely turned the game around, and he was on the front foot once again.’
      • ‘If you work in controversial areas, there is much to be gained by being on the front foot with the media.’
      • ‘We started well and were on the front foot early on.’
      • ‘We now have to get on the front foot and market the city aggressively.’
      • ‘Liverpool started the game on the front foot.’
      • ‘As any first-year PR student would tell you, it pays to get on the front foot early.’
    put a foot wrong
    • usually with negative Make a mistake in performing an action.

      ‘he hardly put a foot wrong in the first round’
      • ‘But the film, shot largely on digital video, allowing it to use mostly natural light in a smoky, hazy look, hardly puts a foot wrong.’
      • ‘Jay-Jay's been sensational, Laville's hardly put a foot wrong.’
      • ‘They hardly put a foot wrong and contributed 16 points, converting two of the three tries and putting over four penalties.’
      • ‘And for a set and three quarters, Davenport hardly put a foot wrong.’
      • ‘A surprise selection at right back but he hardly put a foot wrong, either defensively or in possession.’
      • ‘He's the most expensive goalkeeper in the world and hardly put a foot wrong.’
      • ‘For three years now the Queen's eldest son has hardly put a foot wrong in public life.’
      • ‘Hardly put a foot wrong and used his head to good effect with a vital late clearance.’
      • ‘That is of little relevance however, since he never puts a foot wrong in a performance that is almost better than it has a right to be.’
      • ‘He was not at all inconvenienced by the furious pace and hardly put a foot wrong over the Prestbury Park fences.’
    put foot
    South African informal
    • Hurry up; make a prompt start.

      • ‘we'd better put foot—we've only got a couple of hours’
      • ‘Both Dick and I just put foot on the accelerator and sped off.’


      Originally in the sense ‘press on the accelerator of a car’.

    put one's best foot forward
    • Embark on an undertaking with as much effort and determination as possible.

      ‘‘Politics is about putting your best foot forward and putting the other person in the worst light,’ Mr. Goldstein said.’
      • ‘It's all about the business and putting your best foot forward.’
      • ‘I mean, sure, you get disappointed because you go out there putting your best foot forward.’
      • ‘More than 13,000 Wiltshire pupils have been putting their best foot forward to mark International Walk to School Week.’
      • ‘Darwen children will be putting their best foot forward to raise money for Barnardo's children's charity.’
      • ‘In addition, there have been various groups/troupes putting their best foot forward.’
      • ‘Scouts have been putting their best foot forward to map out walking routes in Greenmount and Tottington.’
      • ‘He will be putting his best foot forward and walking the 30 miles from Bolton on Good Friday.’
      • ‘Right or left, he is intent on putting his best foot forward and leaving nightmare stories behind.’
      • ‘An actuary from Brentford will be putting her best foot forward in this year's London marathon, to help charity Whizzkids.’
    put one's feet up
    • Take a rest, especially when reclining with one's feet raised and supported.

      • ‘Rather than putting his feet up for a well-earned rest following his tour, Peter brought fun and laughter to the hospice.’
      • ‘We trained a little and managed to put our feet up for a deserved rest and a little bit of sun.’
      • ‘Sale's try-scoring wing-wizard is staying on in Australia and will put his feet up and rest after a stamina-sapping Lions tour.’
      • ‘Why not put your feet up in your plush recliner and snuggle up in your $1,000 cashmere throw?’
      • ‘When it comes time to pump, find a nice, relaxing environment, put your feet up, listen to music, and try not to think about work.’
      • ‘The Great Hall is a place to relax and put your feet up, not to feel that your culture is inferior to another.’
      • ‘It's cosy, and the perfect place to put your feet up and relax with a well-earned pint.’
      • ‘We need a part of the town where people can relax, put their feet up and, in the summer especially, enjoy the good weather.’
      • ‘There is a wide range of activities there, including a cyber cafe, as well as a place to relax and put one's feet up.’
      • ‘I'm always glad to get home, put my feet up and relax.’
    put one's foot down
    • 1Adopt a firm policy when faced with opposition or disobedience.

      • ‘‘The key to faking it,’ Johanna, 12, says, is putting your foot down: ‘Refuse to be lured into nervousness!’’
      • ‘Many employers are putting their foot down when it comes to hiring veiled women.’
      • ‘I have thought of putting my foot down but I have a sneaking suspicion some of the unruly behaviour is vaguely familiar.’
      • ‘Naturally Lou doesn't want to spend the extra cash on staff, but this time Harold is being the top and putting his foot down about it.’
      • ‘He will probably continue to do so until management puts their foot down.’
      • ‘And Mesereau puts his foot down and says you've got to step out of the way.’
      • ‘Then I thought it's because she's really nice, but then she puts her foot down.’
      • ‘And it gets to the point where you have to put your foot down and just say I'm sorry, but this interview is over.’
      • ‘And the parents had put their foot down and denied permission.’
      • ‘If girls themselves put their foot down, maybe some change would come.’
    • 2British Accelerate a motor vehicle by pressing the accelerator pedal.

      • ‘Greg hadn't gotten his seat belt on, when Maxine put her foot down on the accelerator, and peeled out, after Jenny.’
      • ‘I put my foot down on the accelerator and sped away from the city.’
      • ‘I stared at the crashed car in the rear view mirror until it was out of sight, then I put my foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘He put his foot down on the accelerator, slamming into the back of the white car.’
      • ‘I turned to Laura and nodded before she put her foot down on the accelerator and sped off in the direction of her and Paul's houses.’
      • ‘Due to my refusal he put his foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘‘I'm not having this,’ muttered Sarah and put her foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘A muscle started to twitch in his cheek as he put his foot down and accelerated through the deserted streets.’
      • ‘When the door had closed and they were all seated Jo put her foot down on the accelerator.’
      • ‘In the traditional automatic, you put your foot down and then wait while the gearbox does its best to catch up with your instructions.’
    put one's foot in it
    • Say or do something tactless or embarrassing.

      • ‘These terms might not exactly trip off the tongue, but they could stop you putting your foot in it.’
      • ‘We had one conversation about putting your foot in it.’
      • ‘Speaking of sports ministers, it seems they all have a knack for putting their foot in it.’
      • ‘Although I did, for the most part, manage to avoid putting my foot in my mouth over the weekend I am guilty of committing one little faux pas.’
      • ‘I know I for one love comments but am always reticent to say too much on other folks' blogs for fear of putting my foot in my mouth.’
      • ‘It's a pity he didn't do his homework before putting his foot in his mouth with his announcement.’
      • ‘And even while he's praising things, the author seems to be putting his foot in his mouth.’
      • ‘He was constantly in fear of putting his foot in his mouth, of exposing his lack of learning.’
      • ‘One of his many problems is that he constantly puts his foot in it!’
      • ‘But every time you feel you might just have some sympathy for Archer he puts his foot in it again.’
    set foot in
    • often with negative Enter; go into.

      ‘he hasn't set foot in the place since the war’
      • ‘It's odd to hear this as you enter a country you have never before set foot in.’
      • ‘Burai tried to ignore that as he entered and set foot on the white soiled floor.’
      • ‘So why head to the other side of the world to start afresh in a country that they have never set foot on before?’
      • ‘Shipley's is one of the most depressing places I've ever set foot in.’
      • ‘So it was with a certain sense of the unknown that I stepped into the most tucked away recording studio I've ever set foot in.’
      • ‘Ten years ago, Prestwick was known chiefly as the only place in Britain that Elvis Presley had ever set foot in.’
      • ‘She had been charged with perjury, after claiming in court she had never set foot in there.’
      • ‘The man who has done little else but fight for a country he has never set foot in, is ready to lay down his life for it.’
      • ‘So, when I got to Harvard I never even had a chance to set foot in the library.’
      • ‘As we set foot into the promising future year after year, the greatest challenge facing any youngster is a career that will lead him to success.’
    set something on foot
    • Set an action or process in motion.

      ‘a plan had lately been set on foot for their relief’
      • ‘We set enquiries on foot, and it turned out that there had been an overnight break-out from Barnyards' field.’
      • ‘The purposes with which they are set on foot are profit, honour, or avoidance of loss or dishonour.’
      • ‘It was easy to see what must be the fate of this fine system in any serious and comprehensive attempt to set it on foot in this country.’
      • ‘The revolutions carry their own points, some-times to the ruin of those who set them on foot.’
      • ‘Lewis and Clarke, has entirely fulfilled my expectations in setting it on foot, and that the world will find that those travellers have well earned its favor.’
      • ‘His patriotic feeling led Mr Dudgeon to throw himself with enthusiasm into the Volunteer movement when it was set on foot in 1859.’
      • ‘This, however, would require organization and some leader to set it on foot.’
    sweep someone off their feet
    • Quickly and overpoweringly charm someone.

      ‘Both of the women said Swaby had been charming and swept them off their feet at first, buying them lots of gifts.’
      • ‘Dior's extravagant creations swept them off their feet, and transported them to a sublimely flattering existence.’
      • ‘He sweeps them off their feet, uses them for his own selfish purposes, and then dumps them when he gets tired of them.’
      • ‘That explains this lovely lass following you, but then again, I don't think you need to pull them out of the icy sea to sweep them off their feet.’
      • ‘The whole chivalry thing was probably some ploy to catch unsuspecting girls off guard only to sweep them off their feet and then discard them later.’
      • ‘All women really want is a man to sweep them off their feet.’
      • ‘Women in satin dresses display a plucky determination as well as lush beauty, as men sweep them off their feet.’
      • ‘Both girls giggled and returned to their work with dreams of weddings, white dresses, and handsome men sweeping them off their feet occupying their thoughts.’
    the boot is on the other foot
    • The situation, in particular the holding of advantage, has reversed.

      • ‘the reorganization means the boot is now on the other foot’
    think on one's feet
    • React to events decisively, effectively, and without prior thought.

      ‘I am sort of thinking on my feet here as I react to the information from my two correspondents and from other sources.’
      • ‘How the candidates think on their feet and react to the audience can be a telling sign as to how they will act once they are in office.’
      • ‘I can see Dallas not knowing what to do, but the other three are veterans and talk about not thinking on your feet or reacting to circumstances.’
      • ‘She was improvising and having to think on her feet.’
      • ‘He thought on his feet, a very bright individual as far as prisoners go.’
      • ‘He is insightful, he has his act together, he understands what makes national security tick - and he thinks on his feet somewhere around Mach 3.’
      • ‘He has all the physical gifts, but he also thinks on his feet.’
      • ‘What marks Aparna's game is that she has a variety of strokes and she thinks on her feet.’
      • ‘It's going to be a case of common sense and thinking on your feet.’
      • ‘No matter what the TV says, taking an umbrella to work is thinking on your feet.’
    to one's feet
    • To a standing position.

      ‘he leaped to his feet’
      • ‘The energy sensitivity and conviction of the cast brought the audience to their feet in a standing ovation.’
      • ‘And at the end of the performance, we rose to our feet and gave a standing ovation.’
      • ‘The grand finale brought a beguiled and enthralled audience to their feet for a standing ovation.’
      • ‘When she completed the variation, we rose to our feet in a spontaneous standing ovation.’
      • ‘Rawson stomped over to her prone position and lifted her to her feet by the front of her dress.’
      • ‘And the long clarinet solo over a thundering funk break in the closing piece makes you leap to your feet.’
      • ‘In every living room in Wales men leapt from sofas to their feet.’
      • ‘And as I stepped into the light a whole bunch of reporters leapt to their feet.’
      • ‘The audience wasted no time in leaping to their feet to applaud a seamless opening night.’
      • ‘They leaped to their feet with delight when Harriet was announced as the winner.’
    under foot
    • On the ground.

      ‘it is very wet under foot in places’
      • ‘Dead pine needles made the ground soft under foot.’
      • ‘In every section, you can smell the air and feel the wet leaves under foot while reading this guide.’
      • ‘Laid in patterns, they're eye-catching and durable under foot.’
      • ‘Usual technique for getting the nuts out from their husks/cases/whatever, consists of rolling them under foot.’
      • ‘The water under foot splashed everywhere, soaking my trainers with 10 strides.’
      • ‘The nostalgic Irish immigrant could feel the land itself under foot and could lean down and touch his native soil.’
      • ‘Firm surfaces under foot would mean that numerous matches could be played consecutively on a pitch.’
      • ‘The leaves, having fragmented under foot are now going into a damp, clingy phase.’
      • ‘The pitch is narrow, it's certain to be boggy under foot and they are not the best of lights to play under.’
      • ‘It hasn't rained here for seven weeks; the grass crackles and crunches under foot, and the bushes droop with lifeless despair.’
    under one's feet
    • In one's way.

      ‘when you're at home you just get under my feet’
      • ‘It's nice when I have the occasional flurry and get a few more hits, in the same way that sometimes it's nice to have a house full of people but you wouldn't want them under your feet seven days a week.’
      • ‘If you really must have them out from under your feet, get dad to take them for a long walk in the park or countryside.’
      • ‘It's nice to spend time with a partner, but it's also a blessed relief when they get out from under your feet for a while.’
      • ‘There are 16% more doctors than four years ago - but 45% more managers getting under their feet.’
      • ‘I'm determined to help out rather than get under their feet.’
      • ‘Big Harry was not best pleased because they got under his feet as he was trying to do his job.’
      • ‘‘My wife usually loves this time of year because I'm away from under her feet,’ explained Criner.’
      • ‘His wife, 36-year-old nurse Lenore, joked that she is just pleased that they have a hobby that gets them out from under her feet.’
      • ‘If he is not actually working, he would vastly prefer to putter outside or in a shed rather than to sit about getting under her feet.’


Old English fōt, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch voet and German Fuss, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit pad, pāda, Greek pous, pod-, and Latin pes, ped- ‘foot’.