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[uh-foo t] /əˈfʊt/
adverb, adjective
on foot; walking:
I came afoot.
astir; in progress:
There is mischief afoot.
Origin of afoot
First recorded in 1175-1225, afoot is from the Middle English word a fote, on fote. See a-1, foot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for afoot
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Vast crowds lined the route, afoot and in every kind of vehicle.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Once afoot, it was not long before the company began to disperse.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • When a man is afoot at cock-crow much may be done in the day.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The man by his nod seemed to show he understood what was afoot.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • The Lambs were going to be enraged when they learned what was afoot.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for afoot


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
in circulation or operation; astir: mischief was afoot
on or by foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afoot

c.1200, afote, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + foot (n.). Figurative sense of "in active operation" is from 1601 ("Julius Caesar").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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