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hot·​foot ˈhät-ˌfu̇t How to pronounce hotfoot (audio)
: in haste


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hotfooted; hotfooting; hotfoots

intransitive verb

: to go hotfoot : hurry
usually used with it


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plural hotfoots
: a practical joke in which a match is surreptitiously inserted between the upper and the sole of a victim's shoe and lighted

Examples of hotfoot in a Sentence

Adverb lowered his plane hotfoot onto a pasture when the engine started to sputter
Recent Examples on the Web
With a 10-hour flight and seven-hour time difference meaning attendees couldn’t hotfoot it between ceremonies, the broadcast from the U.K. ensured that nominees including Lady Gaga, Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur were able to be in two places at (almost) the same time. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 14 Mar. 2022 As a demolitions expert, Daniel Craig hotfoots the story, delightfully, in the role of Joe Bang, adding the right degree of menace beneath the surface. Michael Phillips,, 17 Aug. 2017
When Dellrayne uses his powers to incriminate Rourke and Diana in a killing, the two hotfoot it over the border to Mexico, seeking help from various associates until Dellrayne inevitably catches up with them. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2023 Our long-term BMW M340i hotfoots to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and blasts through the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds. Annie White, Car and Driver, 3 Apr. 2020 Thankfully there’s Warren Carlyle’s blissful choreography, especially the hotfoot, slip-sliding tap numbers. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hotfoot.' 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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1896, in the meaning defined above


1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hotfoot was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near hotfoot

Cite this Entry

“Hotfoot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adverb
hot·​foot ˈhät-ˌfu̇t How to pronounce hotfoot (audio)
: in haste


2 of 2 verb
: to go quickly : hurry
hotfoot it home
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