foot·hold | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌhōld \

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

Montana Democrats have been facing a strong Republican challenge in recent years as the GOP has increasingly gained a foothold into Big Sky Country. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Montana Republicans tap Rosendale to take on vulnerable Democratic Sen. Tester," 7 June 2018 This variety of pathways arising from childhood obesity suggests that if the body is able to successfully block one pathway, cancer may find an alternative way to gain a foothold. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, "Don't call 'baby fat' cute. Childhood obesity increases your kids' risk of chronic disease," 26 Apr. 2018 While Cinco Ranch is on its sixth straight regional final, a particularly young Tompkins program has gained a foothold as a power too. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Leanne Veary’s late goal sends Tompkins to second straight Region III-6A final," 13 Apr. 2018 Few of the new, less-expensive biosimilars have gained a foothold. Anna Edney,, "‘Rigged’ System Blocks Use of Lower-Cost Drugs, FDA Chief Says," 7 Mar. 2018 Argentina managed to get a foothold thanks to a thunderous goal from Angel di Maria and a fortunate deflection, but falling behind only served to wake the French machine up – including Mbappe. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Belgium blasts France for boring, 'anti-football' tactics after World Cup loss," 11 July 2018 The Colombians were edgy, they were ill disciplined but slowly started getting a foothold into the game., "A Nation Erupts: England Penalty Shootout Glory Sends Shockwaves Around the Country," 3 July 2018 After years of struggling to get a foothold in Japan, Uber just got approved for its first taxi-hailing pilot service in the country. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Uber Is Moving Into Japan One Small Step at a Time," 22 May 2018 Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has admitted that France deserved to win the World Cup quarter final and was left lamenting that his time couldn't get enough of a foothold in the game in Nizhny Novgorod despite giving their all., "Oscar Tabarez Backs Fernando Muslera After Disastrous Error Seals Uruguay's World Cup Exit," 7 July 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

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

Kids Definition of foothold

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

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Comments on foothold

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


a magnificent or impressive array

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