foot·​hold | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌhōld How to pronounce foothold (audio) \

Definition of foothold

1 : a hold for the feet : footing
2 : a position usable as a base for further advance

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Synonyms for foothold


base, bridgehead

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Examples of foothold in a Sentence

The army gained a foothold on the island. The company has secured a foothold in the market.

Recent Examples on the Web

But leaders in at least one city where the Nigerian mob has gained a foothold have tried to push back. Washington Post, "A foreign mafia has come to Italy and further polarized the migration debate," 26 June 2019 The latter, meanwhile, just want the bigger picture, a general or emotional foothold on the music. Zachary Lewis,, "Cleveland Orchestra program book editor Eric Sellen relishes role as musical liaison," 13 June 2019 Berlin said Americans who gained a foothold north of Carentan, some 27 miles southeast of Cherbourg, had suffered heavy casualties. Houston Chronicle, "FIRST INVASION GOAL REACHED," 9 June 2019 There is no doubt that inequality, already raw, will intensify post-Amazon: People who have however minor a foothold will likely see their property values increase, while others, especially renters, will struggle to pay ever-higher housing costs. Alex Baca, Vox, "I work in urban planning. Now Amazon’s coming to my city.," 20 Nov. 2018 The brokerage’s Avon office will be located at 45 East Main St. and will provide a foothold in Farmington Valley. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "William Pitt Sotheby's Real Estate Brokerage Returns To Hartford County," 8 May 2018 Its recent purchase of Belmond, which runs the Orient Express, gives it a foothold in the fast-growing luxury travel and hotel business. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Gucci Still Looks Nouveau Riche to Investors," 12 Feb. 2019 Bullock also sent a staffer to Iowa to work for Tim Gannon, who lost his race for state agriculture secretary last week, a move aimed at giving Bullock an early foothold in the crucial caucus state. Juana Summers, The Seattle Times, "Why wait? Democrats openly flirt with 2020 White House bids," 13 Nov. 2018 That gives the cable operator a strong foothold in Europe, where Sky sells phone, TV and internet services to 23 million customers. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Disney, Comcast to Account for Nearly 40% of Spending on U.S. Programming," 7 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foothold.' 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 foothold

circa 1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for foothold

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for foothold

The first known use of foothold was circa 1577

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More Definitions for foothold



English Language Learners Definition of foothold

: a place where your foot may be placed when you are climbing a cliff, a mountain, etc.
: a position that makes it possible to begin an activity or effort


foot·​hold | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌhōld How to pronounce foothold (audio) \

Kids Definition of foothold

: a place where the foot may be put (as for climbing)

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More from Merriam-Webster on foothold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foothold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foothold

Spanish Central: Translation of foothold

Nglish: Translation of foothold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foothold for Arabic Speakers

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