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

  • intransitive verb To go in haste. Often used with it.
  • adverb In haste.
  • noun The practical joke of lighting a match that has been secretly inserted between the sole and upper of a victim's shoe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To chase or pursue in hot haste; follow at a hot pace.
  • In great haste; with great speed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb colloq. In haste; foothot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US The prank of secretly inserting a match between the sole and upper of a victim's shoe and then lighting it.
  • adverb UK hastily; without delay.

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

  • verb move fast
  • adverb without delay; speedily
  • noun a practical joke that involves inserting a match surreptitiously between the sole and upper of the victim's shoe and then lighting it


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • '"Dewey sure is a sucker for the hotfoot. This must be a thousand times somebody gives him the hotfoot. It's a dozen times, at least, that I give him the hotfoot myself."'

    - Nightmare Alley, William Lindsay Gresham

    June 30, 2012