foot·​work | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌwərk How to pronounce footwork (audio) \

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Quarterbacks can work on footwork and the plays that will be run this season. oregonlive, "How Oregon high school football teams are preparing amid the coronavirus pandemic: Zoom sessions, 7-on-7s in the park, work on the farm," 19 June 2020 Senior offensive/defensive lineman Roman Yashchuk spent the 9 to 10 a.m. session Thursday working with Garland and teammates on footwork, positioning and other fundamentals in the trenches. Briar Napier, azcentral, "'I'm hoping to pay back': San Francisco 49ers' Ben Garland teams up with old coach to help Apache Junction," 12 June 2020 Trammell was impressed by Torkelson's footwork, defense and his arm. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Why Tigers' Alan Trammell is sold on Spencer Torkelson: 'No ballpark's gonna hold Tork'," 11 June 2020 Cooper further sells the slant by emphatically sticking his outside foot in the ground to initiate his cut for the slant, then finishes his sales pitch by signaling the slant with his eyes, body posture and footwork. John Owning, Dallas News, "Cowboys film notebook: Breaking down Amari Cooper’s sluggo mastery and a concept Mike McCarthy may use a lot," 5 June 2020 Mayfield’s new West Coast footwork, implemented by Van Pelt, is also making strides. cleveland, "Browns OC Alex Van Pelt: Baker Mayfield voluntarily jumping into other position meetings, showing great leadership," 3 June 2020 The foundation: In boxing, the fireworks take place above the waist, but footwork is the foundation. Tovin Lapan,, "Shadowboxing: Throw a punch like you mean it," 14 May 2020 What makes Spot special is its famously deft footwork. Matt Simon, Wired, "Spot the Coronavirus Doctor Robot Dog Will See You Now," 24 Apr. 2020 No fancy footwork, no fancy ingredients, just the kind of chili everyone is very happy to see on the table on a winter night. Katie Workman, NBC News, "Super Bowl 2020 recipes: How to throw a party for the big day," 29 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of footwork

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about footwork

Time Traveler for footwork

Time Traveler

The first known use of footwork was in 1859

See more words from the same year

Statistics for footwork

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Footwork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for footwork


How to pronounce footwork (audio)

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 How to pronounce footwork (audio) \

Kids Definition of footwork

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!