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2017 Word of the Year

footfall

[foo t-fawl] /ˈfʊtˌfɔl/
noun
1.
a footstep.
2.
the sound of footsteps:
She heard a footfall on the stairs.
Origin of footfall
1600-1610
First recorded in 1600-10; foot + fall
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for footfall
Historical Examples
  • His footfall was a feathery thing that carried him like a shadow to the door.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Or else, in some barroom, a footfall from behind and a bullet through the back.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • The carpet was soft and rich; it gave back no sound of footfall.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • There had been no knock, but he had just recognised the footfall coming up the stairs.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • In the utter silence there was no suspicion of the pat of a footfall.

  • She could not tell its precise nature, but fancied it was the footfall of some animal.

    A Waif of the Mountains Edward S. Ellis
  • Suddenly, in the excitement, it missed its footfall and fell into the river.

    Creatures of the Night Alfred W. Rees
  • When he was supposed to be at his studies, not a voice was heard, not a footfall on the stairs.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • He had not even heard a footfall on the soft ground between the trees!

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • It was his boast that he never forgot a voice or a footfall.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for footfall

footfall

/ˈfʊtˌfɔːl/
noun
1.
the sound of a footstep
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 footfall
n.

c.1600; see foot (n.) + fall (n). Perhaps first in Shakespeare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Nearby words for footfall

Word Value for footfall

14
16
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