foot·​work | \ˈfu̇t-ˌwərk \

Definition of footwork 

1 : the activity of moving from place to place the investigation entailed a lot of footwork

2 : the management of the feet (as in boxing) also : the work done with them

3 : active and adroit maneuvering to achieve an end fancy political footwork

Examples of footwork in a Sentence

The investigation required a lot of footwork. He used quick footwork to dodge his opponent. The tango involves some fancy footwork. He knows that getting enough votes for the proposal is going to require some fancy political footwork.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Dambrot was in the process of salvaging his reputation when Dru Joyce III’s father got word of this coach who made players dribble with two balls at once and spent a strange amount of time focused on the intricate mechanics of footwork. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "How LeBron James Gave His First Coach a Second Chance," 20 Nov. 2018 Running for almost 40 minutes, dancers weave on and off stage to the seemingly continuous rise of music, pushing through a circuit of complex footwork that appears an artful kaleidoscope of jazz, ballet, tap, and aerobics. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "It Was Ladies’ Night at the American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala," 18 Oct. 2018 For Litebulb, Open The Circle's summer camps maintain the tradition of footwork in Chicago. Anna White, Chicago Reader, "Hip-Hop / Music Chicago's footwork community takes center stage at the MCA," 6 July 2018 He’s methodically taken extra steps to fix his footwork and delivery, but won’t have the luxury of playing behind an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award last season. Laken Litman, Indianapolis Star, "Best- and worst-case scenarios for Notre Dame football in 2018," 2 July 2018 The 64-year-old actor, famous for moves in 1977's Saturday Night Fever and 1994's Pulp Fiction, reflected on some of footwork that propelled him to fame. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "Watch: John Travolta teaches Jimmy Fallon his dance moves from 'Grease'," 14 June 2018 Foy is half Irish, and can do the footwork to prove it. Vogue, "5 Things You Didn’t Know About Claire Foy," 10 Oct. 2018 FRAMINGHAM Dazzling footwork, edgy contemporary jazz, rhythmic African beats, magnificent costumes., "Zoo animals, an outdoor festival, and ice cream help kick off summer," 15 June 2018 Take what the defense gives you, to the right read, get to the right check and keep the right footwork. Edgar Thompson,, "UF coach Dan Mullen on Gators' first scrimmage: 'It wasn't great football'," 2 Apr. 2018

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

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near footwork






foo yong


Statistics for footwork

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for footwork

The first known use of footwork was in 1859

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More Definitions for footwork



English Language Learners Definition of footwork

: the activity of moving or walking from place to place

: movement of the feet in a sport, dance, etc.

: active and skillful movement or activity to achieve a goal


foot·​work | \ˈfu̇t-ˌwərk \

Kids Definition of footwork

: the skill with which the feet are moved a dancer's fancy footwork

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More from Merriam-Webster on footwork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with footwork

Spanish Central: Translation of footwork

Nglish: Translation of footwork for Spanish Speakers

Comments on footwork

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


a knickknack or trinket

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