ham·​mer·​toe ˈha-mər-ˌtō How to pronounce hammertoe (audio)
: a deformed claw-shaped toe (usually the second toe) that results from permanent angular flexion between one or both phalangeal joints
A poorly fitting shoe can cause hellish problems, from bunions and corns to hammertoesConsumer Reports

Examples of hammertoe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many have trouble with the adjacent toes and develop a hammertoe—in which the toe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint—or a crossover toe. Angela Haupt, TIME, 24 Apr. 2024 Wooden removing his own shoes and socks for a demonstration, revealing varicose veins from lower leg to foot along with hammertoes, killed the remainder of the excitement. Scott Howard-Cooper., Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2024 In other words, the best wide toe box running shoes can help alleviate pain caused by bunions, hammertoes, and tailor's bunions. Caroline Lubinsky, Men's Health, 27 July 2023 Two of the remaining toes on that foot are abnormally bent hammertoes that cause him discomfort. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2023 The boot size only includes a medium width; therefore, the tight toe box might be too restricting for individuals with bunions or hammertoes. Danielle Zoellner, Health, 17 Feb. 2023 Less than two years later, Sanders said in the video Thursday that two of the remaining three toes on his left foot are hammertoes, which are abnormally bent. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, 22 June 2023 Walking for miles in thin soled flip flops can lead to even more foot problems like hammertoe deformity. Christian Gollayan, menshealth.com, 25 May 2023 People with bunions or hammertoes should comfortably fit into the boot without pain, while a memory foam insole cushions the foot. Danielle Zoellner, Health, 17 Feb. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hammertoe was circa 1885

Dictionary Entries Near hammertoe

Cite this Entry

“Hammertoe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hammertoe. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


ham·​mer·​toe ˌham-ər-ˈtō How to pronounce hammertoe (audio)
: a deformed claw-shaped toe and especially the second that results from permanent angular flexion between one or both phalangeal joints

called also claw toe

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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