toe·​hold | \ ˈtō-ˌhōld How to pronounce toehold (audio) \

Definition of toehold

1a : a hold or place of support for the toes (as in climbing)
b(1) : a means of progressing (as in surmounting barriers)
(2) : a slight footing used his money to get a toehold, then a foothold, then a near stranglehold on the political economy— R. W. Armstrong
2 : an illegal wrestling hold in which the aggressor bends or twists the other wrestler's foot

Examples of toehold in a Sentence

American companies looking for toeholds in foreign markets.
Recent Examples on the Web But given the mutant’s apparent contagiousness, scientists fear that its toehold in the United States augurs another difficult chapter in the pandemic. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, "Discovery of Virus Variant in Colorado and California Alarms Scientists," 30 Dec. 2020 This could allow the infection to go from a toehold to a full footprint. Andrew Joseph @drewqjoseph, STAT, "The coronavirus at 1: A year into the pandemic, what scientists know about how it spreads, infects, and sickens," 14 Dec. 2020 Black businesses finally got a toehold and then COVID hit. John-john Williams Iv,, "Media mogul Cathy Hughes calls Baltimore ‘a welcoming community’ as she celebrates 40 years of business," 13 Nov. 2020 Our toehold in space could by the end of the decade become a floating derelict doomed to be de-orbited into the South Pacific like the old Soviet Mir Space Station. Taylor Dinerman, National Review, "Don’t Abandon the International Space Station," 12 Nov. 2020 For many younger people of color who came from less rarefied backgrounds, gaining a toehold was considerably more difficult. New York Times, "The White Issue: Has Anna Wintour’s Diversity Push Come Too Late?," 24 Oct. 2020 In certain cases, Zerologon can allow an attacker with this kind of toehold to almost instantly gain control of the Active Directory. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "One of this year’s most severe Windows bugs is now under active exploit," 24 Sep. 2020 The Mells got their toehold in Huntsville’s service industry with Church Street Wine Shoppe. Matt Wake |, al, "Huntsville restauranteurs swapping business locations," 24 Sep. 2020 Democrat Amy Kennedy is her family's last hope for a toehold in the next Congress after cousin-in-law Rep. Joe Kennedy III's defeat this week in his Massachusetts Senate primary. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Amy Kennedy burdened by family mantle in closely watched House race," 2 Sep. 2020

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

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for toehold

Time Traveler

The first known use of toehold was in 1880

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Statistics for toehold

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Toehold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for toehold



English Language Learners Definition of toehold

: a place where your toes may be placed when you are climbing a cliff, a mountain, etc.
: a position that makes it possible to begin an activity or effort

More from Merriam-Webster on toehold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toehold

Nglish: Translation of toehold for Spanish Speakers

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