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

  • n. The arched middle part of the human foot between the toes and the ankle.
  • n. The part of a shoe or stocking covering the instep.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The arched part of the top of the foot between the toes and the ankle.
  • n. A section of any footwear covering that part of the foot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The arched middle portion of the human foot next in front of the ankle joint.
  • n. The part of a shoe, boot, or stocking covering the instep{1}.
  • n. That part of the hind leg of the horse and allied animals, between the hock, or ham, and the pastern joint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The arch of the foot; the highest part of the upper side of the human foot, near its junction with the leg; technically, the upper surface of the tarsus.
  • n. Hence A corresponding part of the hind limb of some animals, as the front of the horse's hind leg from the hock to the pastern.
  • n. In entomology, the first joint of an insect's tarsus when it is very long and broad; the planta.

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

  • n. the part of a shoe or stocking that covers the arch of the foot
  • n. the arch of the foot


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

Middle English.


  • First a cover and then a hot brick to the soles of her feet; but put it right under the instep, that is where the life is. …

    Chapter XVI

  • I explained, in turn, that, never having experienced a yaw in that locality, I was driven to conclude the hollow of the instep was the most painful place for yaw-culture.

    Chapter 17

  • Bar-rail instep, which is a fallen arch reversed, was a common complaint among us.

    One Third Off

  • Shiny black patent leather flats with a convertible strap that flipped behind the heel or over the instep were a particularly meaningful rite of passage for me, since it meant that I was allowed to wear 'big girl' shoes, not just little girl Mary Janes.

    Aspen Daily News Online -

  • In some races and in certain individuals it is much developed, so as to give the high instep which is prized as an evidence of good blood.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, No. 67, May, 1863

  • It will be displayed along with other portraits of the artist at an exhibition in the southern town of Vaglio, in the "instep" of the boot-shaped Italian peninsula, from April 8 through Aug. 31.

    Chicago news, weather, traffic - CBS 2 - WBBM

  • _] [186] The bar of gold above the instep is a mark of sovereign rank in the women of the families of the Deys, and is worn as such by their female relatives.

    The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 6

  • The Celtic “[l]eg and foot [is] usually well-developed, thigh long in proportion, instep high, ankle well-shapen and of moderate size; the step is very elastic, and rather springing.”

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • Across the left ankle, from instep to heel, were scattered half a dozen scars the size of half-dollars.


  • The instep of his foot caught Michael squarely under the chest, half knocking the breath out of him and wholly lifting him into the air, so that he fell heavily on his side.



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