in·​step | \ ˈin-ˌstep How to pronounce instep (audio) \

Definition of instep

1 : the arched middle portion of the human foot in front of the ankle joint especially : its upper surface
2 : the part of a shoe or stocking that fits over the instep

Illustration of instep

Illustration of instep

instep 1

Examples of instep in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The light and flexible Regatta hits the sweet spot, with a stretch mesh upper and all-terra traction soles, plus an adjustable instep strap for stability. Karen Campbell,, "Hybrid footwear for all terrains," 4 July 2019 To borrow from golf: The instep of the foot is the equivalent of the modern 460cc toaster-on-a-stick compared with the old persimmon driver represented by Moseley’s three-and-a-half-inch, straight-front Nike Boomer cleat. Michael Farber,, "Mark Moseley, Last of the Straight-On Kickers," 2 July 2018 The two tiny holes at my instep — crucial for ventilation and the prevention of stinky feet. The Cut, "6 Women Review Everlane’s New Flats," 23 Apr. 2018 Abloh's unique 'Off White' branding will also feature on the instep., "Nike Launch Vibrant New 'Mercurial Vapor 360 x Virgil Abloh' for Teen Star Kylian Mbappe," 29 Mar. 2018 The dual-closure system allows me to tighten the calf and ankle separately from the part around the instep and top of my foot. Leslie Hsu Oh, Outside Online, "Snowboarding Gear That's Actually Designed for Women," 28 Mar. 2018 His boots keep finding higher rungs, a round pressure on the soft instep of his foot. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Every Night Perfect," 5 Sep. 2017 The students shouted along with Ms. Belfiglio, slamming their heels to the ground in unison to crush the insteps of imaginary... Thomas Macmillan, WSJ, "More New Yorkers Going on the Defense," 9 May 2017 In the picture, the entire instep of the foot is gone, and a hole the size of a tennis ball is ringed by dead tissue of black and brown and green. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Learning Arabic from Egypt’s Revolution," 7 Apr. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about instep

Statistics for instep

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instep

The first known use of instep was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for instep



English Language Learners Definition of instep

: the raised middle part of the top of your foot between the toes and the ankle
: the part of a shoe, sock, etc., that fits over the instep


in·​step | \ ˈin-ˌstep How to pronounce instep (audio) \

Kids Definition of instep

: the arched middle part of the human foot between the ankle and the toes


in·​step | \ ˈin-ˌstep How to pronounce instep (audio) \

Medical Definition of instep

: the arched middle portion of the human foot in front of the ankle joint especially : its upper surface

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on instep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with instep

Spanish Central: Translation of instep

Nglish: Translation of instep for Spanish Speakers

Comments on instep

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


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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!