flat-footed

1 of 2

adjective

flat-foot·​ed ˈflat-ˌfu̇-təd How to pronounce flat-footed (audio)
ˌflat-ˈfu̇-
1
: affected with flatfoot
broadly : walking with a dragging or shambling gait
2
a
: firm and well balanced on the feet
b
: free from reservation : forthright
had an honest flat-footed way of saying a thing
3
: not ready : unprepared
used chiefly in the phrase catch one flat-footed
4
: proceeding in a plodding or unimaginative way : pedestrian
flat-footed prose
flat-footedly adverb
flat-footedness noun

flat-footed

2 of 2

adverb

1
: in an open and determined manner : flatly
2
: with the feet flat on a surface (such as the ground)

Examples of flat-footed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Jeff Thompson, whose company Red Cat acquired Teal Drones in 2021, said other governments across North America and Europe are also ordering thousands of drones, wary of being caught flat-footed if another war breaks out. Eva Dou, Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2024 Having seen their 17-point lead reduced to just two in the fourth quarter, LeBron James made sure the offense would be flat-footed no more. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 In the initial hours after its win over Kentucky, St. Peter’s was caught flat-footed. Santul Nerkar, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024 It was caught flat-footed by the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in 2022, and tech peers like Google and Microsoft Corp. have stolen the spotlight with new features. Mark Gurman, Fortune, 14 Mar. 2024 The event caught police flat-footed as the crowd grew into the hundreds. Darcy Costello, Baltimore Sun, 26 Jan. 2024 That is partly because many companies are reluctant to risk losing workers after having been caught flat-footed when the economy roared back from the brief but brutal 2020 pandemic recession. Paul Wiseman, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 Be careful about withdrawing retirement funds If a job loss leaves you flat-footed, you may be tempted to raid your 401(k) or IRA for fast cash. Daniel De Visé, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2024 Those shortages helped elevate chip-industry revenue over the past three years, as automakers and their top suppliers sought to build up inventory to avoid being caught flat-footed by the absence of crucial components. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, 4 Jan. 2024
Adverb
In his best days, Flowers was used on the edge, where his speed and strength would often catch tackles by surprise and leave them flat-footed in their backpedal. Jim McBride, BostonGlobe.com, 23 Mar. 2023 The furor around the chatbot has also stoked interest in new startups building or using similar AI technology and has left some companies feeling flat-footed. Will Knight, WIRED, 14 Mar. 2023 This Sunday, leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are determined not to get caught flat-footed. John Jurgensen, WSJ, 13 Mar. 2023 At the same time, Goldman Sachs said February payroll additions were probably juiced by persistent worker shortages that led many employers to pull forward spring hiring so they’re not caught flat-footed. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2023 During the stretch, the Coyotes spoiled the Tampa Bay Lightning at home and caught the Los Angeles Kings flat-footed in a four-goal comeback on the road. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 22 Feb. 2023 That's why this fully playable first level, and a seemingly firm March 2023 release date, arriving during Steam's Next Fest demo week, caught many of those following along flat-footed. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 10 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flat-footed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flat-footed was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near flat-footed

Cite this Entry

“Flat-footed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat-footed. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

flat-footed

adjective
flat-foot·​ed -ˈfu̇t-əd How to pronounce flat-footed (audio)
: affected with flatfoot
broadly : walking with a dragging or shambling gait
flat-footedly adverb
flat-footedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on flat-footed

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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