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[hot-foo t] /ˈhɒtˌfʊt/
noun, plural hotfoots.
a practical joke in which a match, inserted surreptitiously between the sole and upper of the victim's shoe, is lighted and allowed to burn down.
verb (used without object)
Informal. to go in great haste; walk or run hurriedly or rapidly (often followed by it):
to hotfoot it to the bus stop.
with great speed in going; in haste.
Origin of hotfoot
1250-1300; Middle English hot fot (adv.). See hot, foot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hot-foot
Historical Examples
  • He then told us the guard was after us, hot-foot, and that it was too late.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • At this juncture comes an interruption; Tracey Tanner returns, hot-foot.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • Didn't you pitch into me hot-foot for lettin' him be alone with you?

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Now to get back to the Post Road, where the pace is not quite so hot-foot.

    The New York and Albany Post Road Charles Gilbert Hine
  • Yes, and we'll all hot-foot it to the burg of New York, and shoot-up the town!

    The Boy from the Ranch

    Frank V. Webster
  • Then he set off hot-foot, but was stopped by a figure advancing from the corner of the house.

    Springhaven R. D. Blackmore
  • Away went the Providence at full speed, and hot-foot after her came the Solebay.

  • She had not been at it long before in came Jock o' the Garpel, hot-foot from the hill.

    The Men of the Moss-Hags S. R. Crockett
  • He was a reckless, odd, hot-foot fellow whom I liked very much.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • "Meanwhile, Robinson is hot-foot on the Elkin trail," laughed Peters.

British Dictionary definitions for hot-foot


with all possible speed; quickly
to move quickly
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 hot-foot

c.1300 (adv.) "hastily," from hot + foot (n.). As a verb, from 1896. As the name of a prank played with matches, by 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hot-foot



At once; immediately: I'll walk hotfoot to the doctor's office (1835+)


  1. (also hotfoot it)Togo fast; hurry: The boys would hotfoot back when they heard the mess call/ Tell him to hotfoot it to the sheriff's office (1838+)
  2. GIVE someone A HOTFOOT
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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