foot·​step | \ˈfu̇t-ˌstep \

Definition of footstep 

1 : the mark of the foot : track

2a : tread

b : distance covered by a step : pace

3 : a step on which to ascend or descend

4 : a way of life, conduct, or action followed in his father's footsteps

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for footstep


footmark, footprint, step, trace, vestige

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of footstep in a Sentence

She slowly took one footstep toward the frightened animal. It's five footsteps from the bedroom to the bathroom.

Recent Examples on the Web

The aim is to follow in Mandela’s footsteps, and to end extreme poverty by 2030. Vogue, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z Among Headliners at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100," 9 July 2018 Now the Mariners hope to follow in those footsteps, preferably with reinforcements down the stretch. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Baseball’s Luckiest Team Doesn’t Think It’s Luck," 3 July 2018 While there are yet no signs Nintendo is interested in following in Sony's PlayStation Now footsteps for an institutional, system-level game streaming solution, that isn't stopping other Japanese game makers from trying it out. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Capcom requires high-speed streaming to play Resident Evil 7 on Switch," 21 May 2018 Following in his late father’s footsteps, Greg Pence in 2000 started his four-year stint as president of the Kiel Brothers Oil Company, a chain of over 200 convenience stores throughout Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "What's in a name? For Greg Pence, the VP's brother, it could be a seat in Congress," 30 Apr. 2018 Others are now following in his footsteps, like Joshua Wurman at the Center for Severe Weather Research, who is now actively going out there and deploying instruments of his own design into the cores of tornadoes. National Geographic, "This Storm Chaser Risked It All for Tornado Research," 21 Apr. 2018 In this world, the tiniest noise — a footstep, a laugh, an obnoxious slurp from a large Diet Coke — can send the creatures rushing in for the slaughter. Scott Berson, charlotteobserver, "People are being snack-shamed for chewing too loudly during ‘A Quiet Place’ | Charlotte Observer," 10 Apr. 2018 But no one has followed precisely in Lang's footsteps, which insulates her in a way from the need to reimagine familiar material in order to keep it interesting. Mikael Wood,, "Why K.D. Lang can keep performing 'Ingénue' the way she recorded it," 6 Mar. 2018 Wolf, who joined The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in 2016, is only the fifth woman to be named as host of the dinner, following the footsteps of Cecily Strong (2015), Wanda Sykes (2009), Elayne Boosler (1993), and Paula Poundstone (1992). Peggy Truong, Cosmopolitan, "Who Is Michelle Wolf? 11 Things to Know About the Host of the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner," 22 Feb. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about footstep

Dictionary Entries near footstep








Statistics for footstep

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for footstep

The first known use of footstep was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for footstep



English Language Learners Definition of footstep

: a movement made by your foot as you walk or run

: the distance covered by a step

: the sound of a foot making a step


foot·​step | \ˈfu̇t-ˌstep \

Kids Definition of footstep

1 : a step of the foot Don't take another footstep!

2 : the distance covered by a step The bathroom is only a few footsteps away.

3 : footprint

4 : the sound of a foot taking a step We heard footsteps.

5 : a way of life or action He followed in his father's footsteps.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on footstep

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


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!