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[foo t-hohld] /ˈfʊtˌhoʊld/
a place or support for the feet; a place where a person may stand or walk securely.
a secure position, especially a firm basis for further progress or development:
They gained a foothold in the New York market before beginning their national campaign.
Origin of foothold
First recorded in 1615-25; foot + hold1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for foothold
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Somewhere on the foothold of the rocks men were lurking, I made sure.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton
  • It is so easy for him to get a foothold in a girl's heart here.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • A new tributary for the archic man, and a foothold in the enemy's country.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • He kicked into it with his feet, got a foothold, and worked the hole bigger.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • He scrambled and fought desperately for foothold in the slipping earth.

British Dictionary definitions for foothold


a ledge, hollow, or other place affording a secure grip for the foot, as during climbing
a secure position from which further progress may be made: a foothold for a successful career
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 foothold

1620s, from foot (n.) + hold (n.). Figurative use by 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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