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

  • n. A thief who preys on pedestrians.
  • n. A plate or similar structure on the leg of a spacecraft that distributes weight and helps prevent sinking after landing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The soft underside of an animal's paw.
  • n. A medicated bandage for the treatment of corns and warts.
  • n. A thief on foot who robs travellers on the road.
  • n. (also "foot pad") An unmade, minor walking trail formed only by foot traffic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A highwayman or robber on foot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A highwayman who robs on foot; specifically, one of a large class, existing in Europe when police authority was still in an ineffective condition, who made a business of robbing people passing on horseback or in carriages.
  • n. A pad fitted over the sole of a horse's foot to prevent balling in snow.
  • n. An anklet of leather strapped on a horse's foot to prevent interfering; a boot.
  • n. In entomology, a cushion-like expansion on the lower surface of the tarsal joints: applied especially to the onychium, or membranous cushion between the tarsal claws. Also called foot-cushion and pulvillus. See cut under flesh-fly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a highwayman who robs on foot


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

foot + obsolete pad, highwayman (probably from Middle Dutch pad, path; see pent- in Indo-European roots).



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  • "The fact that he was stopped by a footpad smote Tom Swift's mind as not a particularly surprising adventure. He had heard that several of that gentry had been plying their trade about the outskirts of the town."

    - Victor Appleton, 'Tom Swift And His Electric Locomotive'.

    August 28, 2009

  • I always thought this word comes from the fact that a footpad is capable of moving softly on his feet, to sneak up on his victim.

    February 3, 2007

  • a highwayman who robs on foot

    February 2, 2007

  • an excellent word, andrew.simone. thank you. :)

    December 10, 2006