American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The lower extremity of the vertebrate leg that is in direct contact with the ground in standing or walking.
- n. A structure used for locomotion or attachment in an invertebrate animal, such as the muscular organ extending from the ventral side of a mollusk.
- n. Something suggestive of a foot in position or function, especially:
- n. The lowest part; the bottom: the foot of a mountain; the foot of a page.
- n. The end opposite the head, top, or front: the foot of a bed; the foot of a parade.
- n. The termination of the leg of a piece of furniture, especially when shaped or modeled.
- n. The part of a sewing machine that holds down and guides the cloth.
- n. Nautical The lower edge of a sail.
- n. Printing The part of a type body that forms the sides of the groove at the base.
- n. Botany The base of the sporophyte in mosses and liverworts.
- n. The inferior part or rank: at the foot of the class.
- n. The part of a stocking or high-topped boot that encloses the foot.
- n. A manner of moving; a step: walks with a light foot.
- n. Speed or momentum, as in a race: "the only other Democrats who've demonstrated any foot till now” ( Michael Kramer).
- n. Foot soldiers; infantry.
- n. 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.
- n. A unit of length in the U.S. Customary and British Imperial systems equal to 12 inches (0.3048 meter). See Table at measurement.
- n. Sediment that forms during the refining of oil and other liquids; dregs.
- v. To go on foot; walk. Often used with it: When their car broke down, they had to foot it the rest of the way.
- v. To dance. Often used with it: "We foot it all the night/weaving olden dances” ( William Butler Yeats).
- v. Nautical To make headway; sail.
- v. To go by foot over, on, or through; tread.
- v. To execute the steps of (a dance).
- v. To add up (a column of numbers) and write the sum at the bottom; total: footed up the bill.
- v. To pay; defray: footed the expense of their children's education.
- v. 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: He always has his best foot forward when speaking to his constituents. Put your best foot forward during an employment interview.
- idiom. feet of clay An underlying weakness or fault: "They discovered to their vast discomfiture that their idol had feet of clay, after placing him upon a pedestal” ( James Joyce).
- idiom. foot in the door Slang An initial point of or opportunity for entry.
- idiom. foot in the door Slang 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 Informal 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: The crowd was on its feet for the last ten seconds.
- idiom. on (one's) feet Fully recovered, as after an illness or convalescence: The patient is on her feet again.
- idiom. on (one's) feet In a sound or stable operating condition: put the business back on its feet after years of mismanagement.
- idiom. on (one's) feet In an impromptu situation; extemporaneously: "Politicians provide easy targets for grammatical nitpickers because they have to think on their feet” ( Springfield MA Morning Union).
- idiom. on the right foot In an auspicious manner: The project started off on the right foot but soon ran into difficulties.
- idiom. on the wrong foot In an inauspicious manner: The project started off on the wrong foot.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In man and other vertebrate animals, the terminal part of the leg, upon which the body rests in standing; one of the pedal extremities.
- n. In man the feet are the terminal segments of the posterior limbs, corresponding to the hands or the anterior extremities, and extending from the ankle-joint or tibiotarsal articulation to the end of the toes. The foot is divided into three parts, the tarsus or ankle, the metatarsus or instep, and the phalanges, digits, or toes. It contains 26 bones: namely, 7 tarsals, the astragalus, calcaneum, scaphoid, cuboid, and 3 cuneiform bones; 5 metatarsals; and 14 phalanges, 3 to each of the digits except the great toe, which has 2. The axis of the foot is at right angles with that of the leg, and the whole sole rests upon the ground. The principal muscles acting upon the foot are the anterior and posterior tibial, the three peroneal, the gastrocnemii and soleus, and the flexors and extensors of the toes. In many mammals the structure of the foot is much the same as in man, especially in those which are plantigrade; but the term is extended usually to the corresponding segment of the fore limb. In digitigrade mammals which walk upon the toes, as cats and dogs, or upon the ends of the toes, as in hoofed quadrupeds, the foot, properly speaking, extends up the limb: thus, in the horse, for example, the feet reach up to the hock of the hind limb and the so-called knee of the fore limb (see cut under perissodactyl); but in popular language foot is restricted to the phalangeal part of foot, which rests on the ground in walking. In birds the foot is properly the whole of the hind limb up to the tibiotarsal joint, commonly but wrongly called the knee, and includes the tarsometatarsus and toes; but it is popularly restricted to the toes alone. In reptiles and batrachians which have limbs, the foot is the terminal segment of either fore or hind limb, as in other vertebrates. The hind foot is technically called the pes.
- n. In invertebrate animals, some part serving the purpose of a foot. In mollusks, any surface or part of the body upon which the animal rests or moves. It is often extensile or protrusible, as in gastropods, and is technically called the podium. See cuts under
- n. Milit., soldiers who march and fight on foot; infantry as distinguished from cavalry: used collectively for foot-soldiers: as, a regiment of foot; the Tenth (regiment of) foot.
- n. Something which bears a resemblance to an animal's foot in shape, or in its office as a support or base, or in its position as a terminus or lowest part.
- n. Specifically— The part of a stocking or boot which receives the foot.
- n. A mechanical contrivance acting like the foot of a man in the propulsion of automatic machines.
- n. The lower part of the leg of a chair or any other support or shaft.
- n. The lowest part or foundation; the part opposite to the head or top; the bottom; also, the last of a row or series: as, the foot of a mountain, of a column, or of a class.
- n. A blow with the foot.
- n. The concluding refrain or burden of a song.
- n. Footing; basis; principle: used only in the singular.
- n. Regular or normal value or price; par.
- n. A unit of length, originally the length of a man's foot. Abbreviated ft. The English foot (in use in the United States) contains 12 inches, and is equal to 30.48 centimeters. It seems to have slightly lengthened since the time of Henry VII. The feet in use in different European countries before the introduction of the metric system varied from 9 to 21 English inches. The ancient Roman foot is known from a number of extant standards to have been equal to 11.65 English inches. Other ancient feet are of uncertain length, even when their existence is not in doubt; especially, there is at present much dispute concerning the Attic foot. (See
geometrical foot, below.) The following table gives the prevalent opinions concerning the lengths of the ancient feet and well-determined values of the more important modern units of this name, all expressed in English inches:
- n. A foot of grindstone was formerly 8 inches.
- n. [In this sense foot was formerly, and still is dialectally, often used for the plural, as well as in idiomatic combinations like a three-foot reflector, an 8-foot stop.
- n. In prosody, a group of syllables, of which one is distinguished above the others, which are relatively less marked in enunciation; a section of a rhythmical series consisting of a thesis and an arsis. The Greeks first gave the name foot (
πούς) to the group of times marked by and coincident with one rise and one fall of the human foot in dancing or in beating time. The time or syllable marked alike by the ictus or stress of voice, and by the beat of foot or hand in marking time, they accordingly called the thesis ( θεσις) or ‘setting down’ (of the foot), and the remaining interval before or after this the arsis ( α%27ρσις) or ‘raising’ (of the foot). Many Latin and modern writers have introduced great confusion into metrical nomenclature by directly interchanging the meaning of the words arsis and thesis. (See arsis.) An uninterrupted succession of feet constitutes a colon or series, and the name line or verse is given to a colon, cola, or period, if written in one line. In accentual poetry, as in English, and other modern languages in which the syllabic accent is chiefly a stress of the voice, the rhythmical ictus regularly coincides with the syllabic accent, and the relative length of time taken in pronouncing a syllable is almost entirely disregarded. In the poetry of the Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and other nations in whose languages the syllabic accent was chiefly a matter of tone or pitch, quantity—that is, the length of time taken in pronouncing each syllable—determined the rhythm. In Greek and Roman rhythmics and metrics a unit of time is assumed, called a primary or fundamental time or mora, or specifically a time, and this is regarded as the ordinary or normal short (marked ⌣), and expressed in verbal composition by a short syllable. The ordinary or normal long (marked –) is equal to two times or moræ, and is expressed by a long syllable. Metrical classification of such feet is based either on metrical magnitude—that is, on the length of the foot as measured in moræ or times, each long being reckoned as two shorts—or on the pedal ratio—that is, the proportion of the number of times in the thesis to that in the arsis.
- n. In music:
- n. A drone-bass.
- n. A chorus or refrain; a burden.
- n. In organ-building: The part of a pipe below its mouth. A measure or name used in denoting the pitch of stops. The standard of reference is the length of an open pipe belonging to the second C below middle C. A unison stop is called an 8-foot stop, because in this case the pipe is about 8 feet long. Similarly, an octave stop is called a 4-foot stop; a double or suboctave stop, a 16-foot stop, etc. (See
stop.) The usage has been extended to the designation of the pitch of particular tones and of instruments. Thus, the second C below middle C is called 8-foot C, and all the tones in the octave above it 8-foot tones, or tones in the 8-foot octave, while the first C below middle C is called 4-foot C, etc. Thus, also, the piccolo is called a 4-foot instrument, because its tones are an octave above the notes written.
- n. The commercial name for one of the small plates of tortoise-shell which line the carapace: commonly used in the plural.
- n. One of the small marginal plates of the upper shell of the hawkbill turtle. Also called nose.
- n. Sediment: same as foots.
- n. In Crustacea, the swimming-feet or abdominal appendages.
- n. In health or activity; able to go about.
- n. In progress; going on.
- n. To appear to the best advantage; make as good an appearance or impression as possible; use one's most effective resources; do one's very best.
- 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.
- To tread with the feet, as in walking; traverse on foot; pass over by walking: as, to foot the green; to foot the whole distance.
- To strike with the foot; kick; spurn.
- To fix firmly on the feet; set up; settle; establish.
- To seize with the foot or feet, or paws or talons.
- To add or make a foot to: as, to foot a stocking or boot.
- To add, as the numbers in a column, and set the sum at the foot: generally with up: as, to foot up an account.
- To pay; liquidate: as, to foot the bill.
- To dance.
- n. Nautical: The lower edge of a sail.
- n. The part of a mast near the deck.
- n. In botany, one of various organs of attachment. A petiole.
- n. countable A biological structure found in many animals that is used for locomotion and that is frequently a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg. transl.
- n. countable, anatomy Specifically, a human foot, which is found below the ankle and is used for standing and walking. transl.
- n. uncountable, often used attributively Travel by walking.
- n. countable The base or bottom of anything. transl.
- n. countable The part of a flat surface on which the feet customarily rest.
- n. countable The end of a rectangular table opposite the head. coord.
- n. countable A short foot-like projection on the bottom of an object to support it. transl.
- n. countable A unit of measure equal to twelve inches or one third of a yard, equal to exactly 30.48 centimetres. usage coord.
- n. military Foot soldiers; infantry. coord.
- n. countable, cigars The end of a cigar which is lit, and usually cut before lighting.
- n. countable, sewing The part of a sewing machine which presses downward on the fabric, and may also serve to move it forward.
- n. countable, printing The bottommost part of a typed or printed page. coord.
- n. countable, prosody The basic measure of rhythm in a poem. transl.
- n. countable, phonology The parsing of syllables into prosodic constituents, which are used to determine the placement of stress in languages along with the notions of constituent heads.
- n. countable, nautical The bottom edge of a sail. coord. transl.
- n. countable, billiards The end of a billiard or pool table behind the foot point where the balls are racked.
- n. countable, botany In a bryophyte, that portion of a sporophyte which remains embedded within and attached to the parent gametophyte plant.
- n. countable, malacology The muscular part of a bivalve mollusc by which it moves or holds its position on a surface.
- n. countable, molecular biology The globular lower domain of a protein. coord.
- n. countable, geometry The foot of a line perpendicular to a given line is the point where the lines intersect.
- v. transitive To use the foot to kick (usually a ball).
- v. transitive To pay (a bill).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Anat.) The terminal part of the leg of man or an animal; esp., the part below the ankle or wrist; that part of an animal upon which it rests when standing, or moves. See manus, and pes.
- n. (Zoöl.) The muscular locomotive organ of a mollusk. It is a median organ arising from the ventral region of body, often in the form of flat disk, as in snails. See
- n. That which corresponds to the foot of a man or animal
- n. The lowest part or base; the ground part; the bottom, as of a mountain, column, or page; also, the last of a row or series; the end or extremity, esp. if associated with inferiority
- n. Fundamental principle; basis; plan; -- used only in the singular.
- n. rare Recognized condition; rank; footing; -- used only in the singular.
- n. A measure of length equivalent to twelve inches; one third of a yard. See Yard.
- n. (Mil.) Soldiers who march and fight on foot; the infantry, usually designated as
the foot, in distinction from the cavalry.
- n. (Pros.) A combination of syllables consisting a metrical element of a verse, the syllables being formerly distinguished by their quantity or length, but in modern poetry by the accent.
- n. (Naut.) The lower edge of a sail.
- v. To tread to measure or music; to dance; to trip; to skip.
- v. To walk; -- opposed to
- v. To kick with the foot; to spurn.
- v. obsolete To set on foot; to establish; to land.
- v. To tread.
- v. To sum up, as the numbers in a column; -- sometimes with
- v. poet. To seize or strike with the talon.
- v. To renew the foot of, as of a stocking.
- n. lowest support of a structure
- n. the lower part of anything
- n. a linear unit of length equal to 12 inches or a third of a yard
- v. pay for something
- n. any of various organs of locomotion or attachment in invertebrates
- n. travel by walking
- n. (prosody) a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm
- v. walk.
- n. a support resembling a pedal extremity
- n. the part of the leg of a human being below the ankle joint
- n. a member of a surveillance team who works on foot or rides as a passenger
- n. an army unit consisting of soldiers who fight on foot
- n. the pedal extremity of vertebrates other than human beings
- v. add a column of numbers
- 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)). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English fot, from Old English fōt. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“_And thine eye shall not pity_,'" said her father, in a tone of rebuke, "'_but, life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot_.”
“Follow on by the foot of the wood, and you'll get there in time,' was the reply, at length faintly heard in the distance, and the cart rumbled heavily away again, leaving me just as wise as before; for which was _head_ and which was _foot_ of the wood I knew no more than the child unborn.”
“And thus the offering ended* the loo poor men were placed to prcM: eeti homeward on foot, and after them the knights* esquires, and gentlemen, on horseback; then Garter principal king of arms; then the principal nnoumerr with the other eight moumers two and two; and then the yeomen on foot» two and two.”
“Well scrub athlete's foot from the list because my left foot is happily harbouring something icky.”
“I use the term foot for a member employed for movement in place connected with a point on the ground, for the feet appear to have got their name from the ground under our feet.”
“* The reader will note, that when we use the term foot-pad, we mean him who robs on foot only; highway-man intends one who robs on horse back. highway robbery.”
Sketches of the Life of Joseph Mountain, a Negro, Who Was Executed at New-Haven on the 20th Day of October, 1790, For a Rape, Committed on the 26th Day of May Last [The Writer of This History Has Directed That the Money Arising From the Sales Thereof, After Deducting the
“A subsequent visit to another podiatrist told me that taking a bone out of the foot is an ignorant thing to do — or, at least, taking THAT bone out of the foot is ignorant.”
“Four years later they call to say an NFL place-kicker has just died in a freak PAT accident and his foot is a match.”
“Right next to my foot is the other half of my arrow, the broad head still on it.”
“BROWN: Kennedy promised to be what he called a foot soldier in the health care battle to come.”
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