Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[flat-foo t-id] /ˈflætˈfʊt ɪd/
having flatfeet.
taking or showing an uncompromising stand in a matter; firm and explicit:
a flatfooted denial.
clumsy or plodding; maladroit:
flatfooted writing.
catch one flatfooted, to catch one unprepared; surprise:
The amount of the bill caught us flatfooted.
Origin of flatfooted
First recorded in 1595-1605; flatfoot + -ed3
Related forms
flatfootedly, adverb
flatfootedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for flat-footed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What we want here, sir, is straight-out, flat-footed hell—the burnin' lake o' fire an' brim-stone.

  • In a little while, with flat-footed stamping, Ben Helders came in.

    Christmas Zona Gale
  • Plan' ti grade, walking on the soles of the feet; flat-footed.

  • Or by bold combinations: down-and-out, up-state, flat-footed.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
  • By wetting the foot one can see readily whether he is flat-footed by the imprint made.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • I'd like to take a flat-footed stance as claiming that the end justified the means.

    Fore! Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • Then she must be used to flat-footed Finn servant girls, declared Ruth gaily.

  • They are bilt sumthing like a hen, and are an up-and-down, flat-footed job.

British Dictionary definitions for flat-footed


having flatfoot
(Brit, informal)
  1. clumsy or awkward
  2. downright and uncompromising
(informal) off guard or unawares (often in the phrase catch flat-footed)
Derived Forms
flat-footedly, adverb
flat-footedness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for flat-footed

c.1600, "with flat feet;" meaning "unprepared" is from 1912, U.S. baseball slang, on notion of "not on one's toes;" earlier in U.S. colloquial use it meant "straightforwardly, downright" (1828), from notion of "standing firmly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for flat-footed



Unprepared; surprised •Usu in the phrase catch someone flatfooted: He just stood there flatfooted and watched it roll in (1912+ Baseball)


Straightforwardly; without ceremony: If they were going to turn it down, they would have just flatfooted done it (1828+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with flat-footed


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for flatfooted

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for flat

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for flat-footed