foot·​hold | \ˈfu̇t-ˌhōld \

Definition of foothold 

1 : a hold for the feet : footing

2 : a position usable as a base for further advance

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for foothold


base, bridgehead

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

However, the company has grown its foothold in the home door hardware market. Marco Santana,, "Orlando tech firms UniKey, Voxx team up to push toward keyless, fobless car-door entry," 12 July 2018 Turkey's efforts to deepen its foothold in eastern Jerusalem are persisting unabated, Israel Hayom has learned. Yori Yalon, Jewish Journal, "Turkey renovates homes and more in Muslim Quarter," 3 July 2018 The church’s pastor, Rev. Judith Hanlon, has given succour, and vital footholds, to desperate souls who hear about the church by word of mouth., "People helping us pull back from the darkness," 30 June 2018 While France faltered in trying to regain some of its Indian footholds lost in the Seven Years War, Great Britain succeeded. Alice George, Smithsonian, "The American Revolution Was Just One Battlefront in a Huge World War," 28 June 2018 Nafta, which the president often calls the worst trade deal ever, has given the industry a valuable foothold in Mexico. New York Times, "Trump’s Trade War Could Shut Cheesemakers Out of Foreign Markets," 24 June 2018 Cesc Fabregas was substituted on with 15 minutes left which gave Chelsea a foothold in the middle of the pitch, eventually leading to a late Willian equaliser., "Chelsea vs Liverpool Preview: Form Guide, Previous Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & Prediction," 5 May 2018 American Apparel also has given Gildan a foothold in the lucrative niche of fashionable basics. Bloomberg,, "American Apparel is reopening exactly one store, and it's in Los Angeles," 4 May 2018 American Apparel also has given Gildan a foothold in the lucrative niche of fashionable basics. Sandrine Rastello,, "American Apparel Is Venturing Back Into Brick-and-Mortar Stores," 3 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of foothold

circa 1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foothold

Statistics for foothold

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foothold

The first known use of foothold was circa 1577

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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