\ˈfu̇t \
plural feet\ˈfēt \ also foot

Definition of foot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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.

5a : 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

10a : 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

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


footed; footing; foots

Definition of foot (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : dance

2 : to go on foot

3 of a sailboat : to make speed : move

transitive verb

1a : 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

4a : to add up

b : to pay or stand credit for foot the bill

5 : to make or renew the foot of foot a stocking

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Synonyms & Antonyms for foot

Synonyms: Noun

base, basement, bottom, nadir, rock bottom

Synonyms: Verb

ante (up), balance, clear, discharge, liquidate, meet, pay, pay off, pay up, pony up, quit, recompense, settle, spring (for), stand

Antonyms: Noun

head, top, vertex

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of foot in a Sentence


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


I'll foot the bill for dinner.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Come Saturday morning, 274 36th Street in Sunset Park will be getting a lot more foot traffic, of the well heeled sort. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Headed to A Current Affair? 4 Hidden Gems to Shop at Brooklyn’s Cult Vintage Show," 12 Oct. 2018 Most scooters and transporters like segways are banned from certain public areas with a lot of foot traffic. Charlie Lapastora, Fox News, "ATV 'wheelchairs' allow people with mobility issues to go off-roading," 27 Sep. 2018 Even the ones in your downstairs powder room get covered in dirt with enough foot traffic. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How Gross Are Your Laundry Habits?," 21 Sep. 2018 On average, brick will cost less than $10 per square foot, Houzz reports. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "7 Things You Should Know Before Installing Brick Floors," 7 Sep. 2018 If possible, look for a business or a heavily populated foot-traffic area to go to. Mekita Rivas, Glamour, "Mollie Tibbetts' Killing Isn't About Women Jogging. It's About Violence Against Us.," 24 Aug. 2018 People are traveling a thousand miles on foot to get to this country. Brooke Hauser, Marie Claire, "How Immigration Shaped These Female Founders and CEOs," 23 Aug. 2018 According to police, Steven fled, and police pursued him on foot, eventually chasing him up the stairwell of his grandmother’s apartment building on Chicago’s West Side. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Chicago Teen Shooting Victim Steven Rosenthal's Family Counters Suicide Ruling," 20 Aug. 2018 Land in Cap Ferrat is now some of the most expensive per square foot on the planet. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Tragic, Fascinating History of Santo Sospir," 13 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Specifically, the campaign, which was started by anti-monarchist group Republic, took issue with the fact that taxpayers will foot the bill for the day's security measures. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Why Princess Eugenie's Role in the Royal Family Is Very Different From Prince Harry's," 2 Oct. 2018 Thousands of people have signed a petition urging the royal family to cover the costs of security for Princess Eugenie's wedding next month, instead of having taxpayers foot the bill. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "People Want Royals, Not Taxpayers, to Cover the $2.5 Million Security Bill for Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 28 Sep. 2018 Still, the bills that insurance providers foot all influence healthcare costs overall, including premiums. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Fed up by crazy hospital bills, state makes passive-aggressive T-shirts," 27 Sep. 2018 Some homeowners have rebuilt the same coastal McMansion three or more times, knowing Uncle Sam will foot the bill after the next big storm knocks it down. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Flood insurance is broken," 20 Sep. 2018 Hicks told The Canadian Press that plans to replace the bridge is underway, and that local tax payers won't foot the bill for the cost. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Canadian Bridge Collapses the Day It Opens," 19 Sep. 2018 For years, inmate advocates have argued that the cost of a phone call from a prison or jail is onerously high, and inmates’ families are footing the bill. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Texas and New York City are slashing inmate phone call rates," 1 Sep. 2018 Liza Koshy & Kimiko Glenn Compete in a Compliment Battle As The New York Times noted, DeVos's new policy under consideration would break long-standing precedent that the federal government does not foot the bill to put weapons in schools. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Betsy DeVos Is Reportedly Considering Using Federal Funding to Provide Guns to Schools," 23 Aug. 2018 What's more, the weddings of more direct heirs to the throne bring in significant amounts of money for the UK economy, offsetting the cost of footing the security bill. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Princess Eugenie's Wedding Is Going to Cost British Taxpayers Millions and They Are Not Pleased," 18 Aug. 2018

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

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First Known Use of foot


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


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

History and Etymology for foot


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


see foot entry 1

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Statistics for foot

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foot

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

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More Definitions for foot



English Language Learners Definition of foot

: the part of the leg on which an animal or person stands and moves : the part of the leg below the ankle

: a unit of measurement equal to 1/3 yard (0.3048 meter) or 12 inches

: the lowest part of something


\ˈfu̇t \
plural feet\ˈfēt \

Kids Definition of foot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the end part of the leg of an animal or person : the part of an animal on which it stands or moves

2 : a unit of length equal to twelve inches (about .3 meter)

3 : the lowest or end part of something foot of a hill foot of the bed

on foot

: by walking They traveled on foot.


footed; footing

Kids Definition of foot (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : pay entry 1 sense 2 I'll foot the bill.


\ˈfu̇t \
plural feet\ˈfēt \ also foot

Medical Definition of 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on foot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foot

Spanish Central: Translation of foot

Nglish: Translation of foot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foot for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about foot

Comments on foot

What made you want to look up foot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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