foot

1 of 2

noun

plural feet ˈfēt How to pronounce foot (audio) also foot
1
: the terminal part of the vertebrate (see vertebrate entry 1) leg upon which an individual stands
2
: an invertebrate organ of locomotion or attachment
especially : a ventral (see ventral entry 1 sense 1b) muscular surface or process of a mollusk
3
: any of various units of length based on the length of the human foot
especially : a unit equal to ¹/₃ yard and comprising 12 inches
plural foot used between a number and a noun
a 10-foot pole
plural feet or foot used between a number and an adjective
6 feet tall
see Weights and Measures Table
4
: the basic unit of verse meter consisting of any of various fixed combinations or groups of stressed and unstressed or long and short syllables
Each line of the poem contains five feet.
5
a
: motion or power of walking or running : step
fleet of foot
b
: speed, swiftness
showed early foot
6
: something resembling a foot in position or use: such as
a
: the lower end of the leg of a chair or table
b(1)
: the basal portion of the sporophyte in mosses
(2)
: a specialized outgrowth by which the embryonic sporophyte especially of many bryophytes absorbs nourishment from the gametophyte
c
: a piece on a sewing machine that presses the cloth against the feed
7
foot plural, chiefly British : infantry
8
: the lower edge (as of a sail)
9
: the lowest part : bottom
the foot of the hill
10
a
: the end that is lower or opposite the head
the foot of the bed
b
: the part (as of a stocking) that covers the foot
11
foots plural in form but singular or plural in construction : material deposited especially in aging or refining : dregs
12
foots plural : footlights

foot

2 of 2

verb

footed; footing; foots

intransitive verb

1
: dance
2
: to go on foot
3
of a sailboat : to make speed : move

transitive verb

1
a
: to perform the movements of (a dance)
b
: to walk, run, or dance on, over, or through
2
archaic
a
: kick
b
: reject
3
archaic : establish
4
a
: to add up
b
: to pay or stand credit for
foot the bill
5
: to make or renew the foot of
foot a stocking
Phrases
at one's feet
: under one's spell or influence
The champion loved the feeling that the world was at his feet.
foot in the door
: the initial step toward a goal
He took a job as a secretary to get his foot in the door.
off one's feet
: in a sitting or lying position
The doctor advised her to stay off her feet.
on foot
: by walking or running
tour the campus on foot
on one's feet
1
: in a standing position
He works on his feet all day.
2
: in an established position or state
The business is finally back on its feet.
3
: in a recovered condition (as from illness)
back on my feet
4
: in an extemporaneous (see extemporaneous sense 1a) manner : while in action
good debaters can think on their feet
to one's feet
: to a standing position
brought the crowd to its feet

Examples of foot in a Sentence

Noun He was wearing boots on his feet. tracks made by the feet of a bird The people in the crowd began to stamp their feet. They camped at the foot of the mountain. at the foot of the stairs the foot of the table Verb I'll foot the bill for dinner. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Every room at Bancroft was flooded with, on average, a foot of water, said La Mesa-Spring Valley Superintendent David Feliciano. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Feb. 2024 This weather event, known as an atmospheric river, broke rainfall records, dumped more than a foot of rain on parts of the state, and knocked out power for 800,000 residents. Zoya Teirstein, WIRED, 17 Feb. 2024 As the lawyer spoke, Dunn found her gaze drawn to Smokes, who sat a few feet away, celebrating with loved ones. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker, 16 Feb. 2024 The modern home spans 4,000 square feet and has four en-suite bedrooms. David Caraccio, Sacramento Bee, 6 Feb. 2024 Six feet tall and 165 pounds in his prime, Gilbert lassoed a whiskey bottle from a gunslinger’s hand from a dozen feet away as a double for Richard Widmark in Edward Dmytryk’s Warlock (1959). Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Feb. 2024 There is no legal requirement that any alien who sets foot on American soil be permitted to apply for asylum (which is a discretionary act of national clemency, not a right of the alien). Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 6 Feb. 2024 The woman was carried 1,500 feet — the entire length of the Empire State Building. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 6 Feb. 2024 The yard lines, each about a foot apart, are meticulously painted around the Kansas City Chiefs’ signature logo in the middle. Alison Booth, Kansas City Star, 5 Feb. 2024
Verb
Besides Nicki and Cardi thriving, Megan must also be aware of the surge of ascendant rappers who have broken out while she’s struggled to find her footing the past couple of years. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, 7 Feb. 2024 Trump advisers have said the Save America PAC, which raises most of its money through small-dollar contributions by Trump supporters across the country, is footing the legal bills for almost anyone drawn into the Trump investigations who requests help from the former president and his advisers. Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2023 But for the first time in years the Bears are on roughly even footing with Green Bay, as oddsmakers have both teams at +5000 to win the Super Bowl and both with the over-under for their win total set at 7.5 games. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2023 Probably as long as the wealthy former gelato executive is willing to foot most of the bill. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 2 Feb. 2024 Frequently Asked Questions How hot do foot warmers get? Rena Behar, Travel + Leisure, 10 Jan. 2024 For the most part, WNYC will no longer continue with short-run and seasonal podcasts — unless a third party is footing most of the bill for production costs. Amrita Khalid, The Verge, 11 Oct. 2023 Michigan and Washington should have relatively even footing in Texas. Kevin Skiver, Detroit Free Press, 2 Jan. 2024 The agreement requires the company to seal its 38 Culver City wells by 2030, ensuring that taxpayers are not responsible for footing those costs. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English fot, from Old English fōt; akin to Old High German fuot foot, Latin ped-, pes, Greek pod-, pous

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of foot was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near foot

Cite this Entry

“Foot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foot. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

foot

1 of 2 noun
plural feet ˈfēt How to pronounce foot (audio) also foot
1
a
: the end part of the leg below the ankle of a vertebrate animal
b
: an organ upon which an invertebrate animal stands or moves
especially : a bottom muscular part of a mollusk
2
: a unit of length equal to ⅓ yard or 12 inches (0.3048 meter)
a 10-foot pole
six feet tall
see measure
3
: the basic unit of verse meter made up of a group of accented and unaccented syllables
4
: something resembling an animal's foot in position or use or in being opposite the head
the foot of a mountain
the foot of a bed

foot

2 of 2 verb
1
2
a
: to add up
b
: to pay or provide for paying
foot the bill

Medical Definition

foot

noun
plural feet ˈfēt How to pronounce foot (audio) also foot
1
: the terminal part of the vertebrate leg upon which an individual stands
2
: any of various units of length based on the length of the human foot
especially : a unit equal to ¹/₃ yard or 12 inches or 30.48 centimeters
plural foot used between a number and a noun
a 10-foot pole
plural feet or foot used between a number and an adjective
6 feet tall

More from Merriam-Webster on foot

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!