Definition of down at heel in English:

down at heel


  • 1(of a shoe) with the heel worn down.

    • ‘On the other hand, you could write, of the same individual: His shoes were down-at-heel and his raincoat was streaked with dirt.’
    • ‘Chinese servants should not (strictly speaking) appear before their masters in short clothes, nor without socks, nor with shoes down at heel, nor with their tail tied round the head.’
    • ‘Make sure your shoes are well polished and not down-at-heel’
    • ‘It has come to imply decrepitude: down-at-heel shoes, wrinkled stockings, woolly hats and trousers kept up by bits of string.’
    • ‘Some were repellently shabby, with loose, stained suit jackets and down-at-heel black leather shoes, other with the shine of prosperity, plump in spotless waistcoats.’
    • ‘Surely everyone here doesn't just throw their shoes away when they get a little down at heel?’
    • ‘Alex Wilson, who worked for Nugget when he first came to the Centre, was a short man, 1.6 metres tall with his down-at-heel boots on.’
    • ‘And equally, forget about making a good impression in your designer garb if your tie doesn't match or your shoes are down at heel.’
  • 2Having a poor, shabby appearance.

    ‘down-at-heel areas’
    • ‘Had I gone at 17 I have no doubt I would have been staying in a down-at-heel guest house.’
    • ‘Both are better bets than the rather down-at-heel Caruso Belvedere.’
    • ‘Vince Vaughn is Peter, a likeable slacker who runs the down-at-heel Average Joe's Gym.’
    • ‘In the film, Reeves plays a luckless, down-at-heel gambler heavily in debt to the bookies.’
    • ‘Like Blackpool or Brighton, Coney Island has that down-at-heel atmosphere of a resort whose time has gone.’
    • ‘A bunch of largely down-at-heel passengers, who had got off with us, searched for a lift that was working.’
    • ‘Craig and Craig is a bold building both inside and out forging a new initiative in what is essentially a shabby and down-at-heel area.’
    • ‘He was spending the summer with his great-uncle and cousins on the outskirts of a down-at-heel Mississippi community inappropriately called Money.’
    • ‘There is not a plush boutique or trendy bar to be seen, and the architecture is down-at-heel.’
    • ‘Today Tesco and Sainsbury's local stores are helping to bring up some down-at-heel neighbourhoods.’
    • ‘Take Sasha and Lena, a young couple living in a typically down-at-heel housing estate on the outskirts of Moscow.’
    • ‘Now he lives in Maryland, a teeming, traffic-choked and down-at-heel suburb of Africa's largest city, Lagos.’
    • ‘But a far larger slice of her area is in Oakland, the down-at-heel industrial city overshadowed by San Francisco across the bay.’
    • ‘Gone is the old and somewhat down-at-heel air of the theatre of yesterday.’
    • ‘The rattling, down-at-heel, overcrowded buildings pleased me better than any grassy quad or lancet window.’
    • ‘Britain's inner city chroniclers are more chip shop than champagne, but this down-at-heel feel has more of an edge.’
    • ‘It is just the kind of place where drunks, junkies and the down-at-heel find a warm spot to spend the night.’
    • ‘True to form, the drive from the airport to the city was a fairly depressing affair - Melbourne seemed all industrial and down at heel.’
    • ‘If that conjures up an image of a rather down-at-heel East End hall, then think again.’
    run down, dilapidated, in disrepair, neglected, uncared-for, unmaintained, depressed
    scruffy, shabby, shabbily dressed, poorly dressed, shoddy, ragged, out at elbows, tattered, mangy, sorry, disreputable
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down at heel