foot·​ing | \ ˈfu̇-tiŋ How to pronounce footing (audio) \

Definition of footing

1 : a stable position or placing of the feet
2 : a surface or its condition with respect to one walking or running on it especially : the condition of a racetrack
3 : the act of moving on foot : step, tread
4a : a place or position providing a base of operations : foothold
b : established position : status especially : position or rank in relation to others they all started off on an equal footing
5 : basis
6 : terms of social intercourse
7 : an enlargement at the lower end of a foundation wall, pier, or column to distribute the load
8 : the sum of a column of figures

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of footing in a Sentence

He lost his footing and fell down the slope. Be careful. The footing is slippery there.

Recent Examples on the Web

At its most diplomatically optimistic, the Pakistani establishment saw the Kashmiri struggle as a card that could bring India to the negotiating table on an equal footing. Johann Chacko, Quartz India, "With Kashmir move, India risks losing the upper hand of a responsible, nuclear-armed democracy," 6 Aug. 2019 Belief is attempting to place itself on an equal footing with truth based on scientific facts. Said Ahmed-zaid, idahostatesman, "Science and religion coexist to make the world work | Idaho Statesman," 31 Mar. 2018 That way, more potential U.S. Olympians have a chance to compete on an equal footing and push each other to be faster, higher and stronger. Phil Rosenthal,, "Fox News website pulls editor's column on U.S. Olympics team diversity," 10 Feb. 2018 Equities stayed on an unsteady footing Wednesday as volatility that’s gripped global financial markets persisted amid signs that the rise in Treasury yields has yet to run its course. Lu Wang,, "Hedge Funds Dug Into Stocks Right Before the Market Went Haywire," 8 Feb. 2018 Democrats want to keep domestic spending on an equal footing with the big boost in military spending that Republicans want. Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wine Country disaster aid ensnarled in Senate brawl over stopgap spending," 24 Jan. 2018 Such an approach puts spatial and temporal correlations on an equal footing. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time," 19 Jan. 2016 Peraza, the club’s starting shortstop last year, never found his offensive footing in a part-time role. Bobby Nightengale,, "Joey Votto returns from IL, Cincinnati Reds option José Peraza to Triple-A Louisville," 27 Aug. 2019 She’s being given a bit of time to get her footing; the school is momentarily capping enrollment at 14,500 after going through a 15-year period in which that figure doubled. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego universities worry about growth, money, violence as fall classes begin," 26 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about footing

Statistics for footing

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for footing

The first known use of footing was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for footing



English Language Learners Definition of footing

: the ability of your feet to stay where you put them as you walk, run, etc.
: the condition of the ground that makes it easy or hard for your feet to stay where you put them as you walk or run
used to describe the kind of relationship that exists between people, countries, etc. usually used with on


foot·​ing | \ ˈfu̇-tiŋ How to pronounce footing (audio) \

Kids Definition of footing

1 : a firm position or placing of the feet I lost my footing and slipped.
2 : foothold
3 : position as compared to others We all started on the same footing.
4 : social relationship We're on a good footing with our neighbors.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on footing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for footing

Spanish Central: Translation of footing

Nglish: Translation of footing for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about footing

Comments on footing

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


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!