foot·​sie ˈfu̇t-sē How to pronounce footsie (audio)
variants or footsy
: a furtive flirtatious caressing with the feet (as under a table)
: a usually surreptitious cooperation or negotiation with someone supposed hostile to one's own interests
usually used with play

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web March 31 interview with FBI agents to see the shameless mental havoc wreaked by people like Trump and every Republican politician and pundit pimping, or even playing footsie with, a profoundly false election narrative. Rex Huppke,, 18 Oct. 2021 Instead of rejecting these forces, too many members of today’s Republican Party play footsie with them – or flat-out embrace their rhetoric and ideas. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 17 Jan. 2023 Roger's most vociferous detractors in the blogosphere often accuse him of playing footsie with climate skeptics. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2010 When the two single moms brought them together for family dinners, Devi and Des were condemned to playing footsie for the evening and hiding their relationship. Sakshi Venkatraman, NBC News, 24 Aug. 2022 Examples abound, but one of the latest is the party’s embrace of weak energy policies and its decision to play footsie with the Left’s climate hysterics for crass political purposes. Chip Roy, National Review, 5 July 2022 Even Republican candidates who don’t subscribe to the most radical theories aiming to overturn past elections are playing political footsie with those who do. New York Times, 18 May 2022 The trouble is that while the former American diplomat has been breaking a sweat for the cause on the D.C. lunch and cocktail circuit, Mr. Bukele has been courting China and playing footsie with transnational criminal organizations. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, 9 Jan. 2022 Youngkin firmly rejected the January 6 Capitol riot and didn't pre-judge the integrity of the election, although Trump played footsie with that message in some of his personal statements in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Scott Jennings, CNN, 3 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'footsie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


diminutive of foot entry 1

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of footsie was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near footsie

Cite this Entry

“Footsie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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