from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The lower extremity of the vertebrate leg that is in direct contact with the ground in standing or walking.
  • noun A structure used for locomotion or attachment in an invertebrate animal, such as the muscular organ extending from the ventral side of a mollusk.
  • noun Something suggestive of a foot in position or function, especially.
  • noun The lowest part; the bottom.
  • noun The end opposite the head, top, or front.
  • noun The termination of the leg of a piece of furniture, especially when shaped or modeled.
  • noun The part of a sewing machine that holds down and guides the cloth.
  • noun Nautical The lower edge of a sail.
  • noun Printing The part of a type body that forms the sides of the groove at the base.
  • noun Botany The base of the sporophyte in mosses and liverworts.
  • noun The inferior part or rank.
  • noun The part of a stocking or high-topped boot that encloses the foot.
  • noun A manner of moving; a step.
  • noun Speed or momentum, as in a race.
  • noun Foot soldiers; infantry.
  • noun A unit of poetic meter consisting of stressed and unstressed syllables in any of various set combinations. For example, an iambic foot has an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable.
  • noun In classical quantitative verse, a unit of meter consisting of long and short syllables in any of various set combinations.
  • noun A unit of length in the US Customary and British Imperial systems equal to 12 inches (0.3048 meter).
  • noun Sediment that forms during the refining of oil and other liquids; dregs.
  • intransitive verb To go on foot; walk. Often used with it:
  • intransitive verb To dance. Often used with it:
  • intransitive verb Nautical To make headway; sail.
  • intransitive verb To go by foot over, on, or through; tread.
  • intransitive verb To execute the steps of (a dance).
  • intransitive verb To add up (a column of numbers) and write the sum at the bottom; total.
  • intransitive verb To pay; defray.
  • intransitive verb To provide (a stocking, for example) with a foot.
  • idiom (at (someone's) feet) Enchanted or fascinated by another.
  • idiom (best foot forward) A favorable initial impression.
  • idiom (feet of clay) An underlying weakness or fault.
  • idiom (foot in the door) An initial point of or opportunity for entry.
  • idiom (foot in the door) A first step in working toward a goal.
  • idiom (get (one's) feet wet) To start a new activity or job.
  • idiom (have one foot in the grave) To be on the verge of death, as from illness or severe trauma.
  • idiom (have (one's) feet on the ground) To be sensible and practical about one's situation.
  • idiom (on (one's) feet) Standing up.
  • idiom (on (one's) feet) Fully recovered, as after an illness or convalescence.
  • idiom (on (one's) feet) In a sound or stable operating condition.
  • idiom (on (one's) feet) In an impromptu situation; extemporaneously.
  • idiom (on the right foot) In an auspicious manner.
  • idiom (on the wrong foot) In an inauspicious manner.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Nautical: The lower edge of a sail.
  • noun The part of a mast near the deck.
  • noun In botany, one of various organs of attachment.
  • To go on foot; walk.
  • To tread to measure or music; dance; skip.
  • In falconry, to seize the game with the talons and kill it.
  • To amount to; sum up: as, their purchases footed up pretty high.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fot, from Old English fōt; see ped- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English fōt ("foot"), from Proto-Germanic *fōts (“foot”) (compare West Frisian foet, Dutch voet, German Fuß, Danish fod), from Proto-Indo-European *pṓds (compare Hittite pata, Latin pēs, pedis, Tocharian A pe, B paiyye, Lithuanian pāda ("sole (foot)"), Russian под (pod, "ground"), Ancient Greek πούς, ποδός (poús, podós), Albanian shputë ("palm, foot sole"), Armenian ոտն (otn), Sanskrit पद् (pád)).


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  • In the rare/antique book business, the bottom of the spine of either the book or the dustjacket.

    February 21, 2007

  • "Look at Sarah Jessica Parker. They let her on TV, and she looks like a foot!" --Peter Griffin, Family Guy

    November 11, 2007

  • A foot of grindstone was formerly 8 inches. --Century Dictionary

    Tell that to the clerk at the hardware store.

    September 23, 2011