adverb or adjective

: on foot
: in the process of development : underway
a plan is afoot to build a new school

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But even as winemakers adapt, many consumers are unaware of the changes afoot or what makes for sustainable practices in the industry. Hollie Stephens, Fortune, 5 Sep. 2022 This useful article highlights changes afoot in state legislatures across New York, California, Florida, and many others. Aman Kidwai, Fortune, 12 Jan. 2022 Camps are regimented with multiple counting of inmates each day, security rounds to assure there are no misdeed afoot (drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, talking on cell phones ... Walter Pavlo, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Below, our favorite pairs of the most delightful shoe trend afoot. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 26 Feb. 2021 But there were occasional contrasts afoot, as when a brass choir got all stately and academic when the headmaster, Dumbledore, offered wisdom or the plucky pizzicatos became light-hearted when reporter Rita Skeeter appeared. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, 25 Oct. 2019 Even Jean’s family and activists had been on guard for character attacks, at one point fuming that a smear campaign was afoot after police revealed early in the investigation that marijuana had been found in Jean’s apartment. Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2019 In hindsight, Facebook had quietly signaled that unification was afoot more than a year ago. New York Times, 12 Aug. 2019 Consolidation has been afoot more broadly in media. Joe Flint, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afoot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English afoten, afote, from a- a- entry 1 + foten, dative plural & fote, dative singular of fot foot entry 1

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of afoot was in the 13th century

Cite this Entry

“Afoot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective

: on foot
travels afoot
: in the process of development : under way
a plan was afoot to seize power

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