flat·​foot | \ ˈflat-ˌfu̇t (always so in sense 3) How to pronounce flatfoot (audio) , ˌflat-ˈfu̇t \
plural flatfeet\ ˈflat-​ˌfēt How to pronounce flatfoot (audio) , ˌflat-​ˈfēt \

Definition of flatfoot

1 : a condition in which the arch of the instep is flattened so that the entire sole rests upon the ground
2 : a foot affected with flatfoot
3a or plural flatfoots, slang : police officer especially : a patrolman walking a regular beat
b slang : sailor

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Synonyms for flatfoot


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Did You Know?

In 1899 the police officers of Akron, Ohio, climbed aboard the first police car (a patrol wagon powered by an electric motor). In that same year the noun flatty was first used in print with the meaning "police officer." Mere coincidence? Maybe, but consider that quite a few similar words have been used over the years to distinguish pedestrian officers from mobile ones, including flat, flat arch,flathead,flatter, and flatfoot. Other notable (and more comic) descriptors are pavement pounder and sidewalk snail. Flatfoot dates its "police officer" sense from 1913. It is especially used of those footing it to keep our cities safe, but it can also refer to police in general.

Examples of flatfoot in a Sentence

a comic strip about a square-jawed, trench-coated flatfoot who always caught the crooks in suitably dramatic fashion
Recent Examples on the Web Overture on harmonica while flatfoot dancing and twirling a rope. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "7 Things to Do With Your Kids in NYC This Weekend," 19 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of flatfoot

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of flatfoot was in 1860

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Cite this Entry

“Flatfoot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatfoot. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for flatfoot


flat·​foot | \ -ˈfu̇t, -ˌfu̇t How to pronounce flatfoot (audio) \
plural flatfeet\ -​ˈfēt, -​ˌfēt How to pronounce flatfoot (audio) \

Medical Definition of flatfoot

1 : a condition in which the arch of the instep is flattened so that the entire sole rests upon the ground
2 : a foot affected with flatfoot

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More from Merriam-Webster on flatfoot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flatfoot

Britannica English: Translation of flatfoot for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flatfoot

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