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[shoo] /ʃu/
noun, plural shoes (especially British Dialect) shoon.
an external covering for the human foot, usually of leather and consisting of a more or less stiff or heavy sole and a lighter upper part ending a short distance above, at, or below the ankle.
an object or part resembling a shoe in form, position, or use.
a horseshoe or a similar plate for the hoof of some other animal.
a ferrule or the like, as of iron, for protecting the end of a staff, pole, etc.
the outer casing of a pneumatic automobile tire.
a drag or skid for a wheel of a vehicle.
a part having a larger area than the end of an object on which it fits, serving to disperse or apply its weight or thrust.
the sliding contact by which an electric car or locomotive takes its current from the third rail.
Civil Engineering.
  1. a member supporting one end of a truss or girder in a bridge.
  2. a hard and sharp foot of a pile or caisson for piercing underlying soil.
a small molding, as a quarter round, closing the angle between a baseboard and a floor.
the outwardly curved portion at the base of a downspout.
a piece of iron or stone, sunk into the ground, against which the leaves of a gateway are shut.
a device on a camera that permits an accessory, as a flashgun, to be attached.
a band of iron on the bottom of the runner of a sleigh.
Cards. dealing box.
  1. a cuplike metal piece for protecting the bottom of a leg.
  2. a fillet beneath an ornamental foot, as a pad or scroll foot.
Printing. a box into which unusable type is thrown.
a chute conveying grain to be ground into flour.
Carpentry. soleplate.
Nautical. a thickness of planking covering the bottom of the keel of a wooden vessel to protect it against rubbing.
verb (used with object), shod or shoed, shod or shoed or shodden, shoeing.
to provide or fit with a shoe or shoes.
to protect or arm at the point, edge, or face with a ferrule, metal plate, or the like.
drop the other shoe, to complete an action or enterprise already begun.
fill someone's shoes, to take the place and assume the obligations of another person:
She felt that no stepmother could ever hope to fill her late mother's shoes.
in someone's shoes, in a position or situation similar to that of another:
I wouldn't like to be in his shoes.
the shoe is on the other foot, the circumstances are reversed; a change of places has occurred:
Now that we are rich and they are poor the shoe is on the other foot.
where the shoe pinches, the true cause of the trouble or worry.
Origin of shoe
before 900; (noun) Middle English scho(o), Old English sceō(h), cognate with German Schuh, Old Norse skōr, Gothic skōhs; (v.) Middle English schon, Old English scōg(e)an, cognate with Middle Low German schoi(g)en, Old Norse skūa
Related forms
shoeless, adjective
reshoe, verb (used with object), reshod, reshoeing.
undershoe, noun
unshoed, adjective
Can be confused
shoe, shoo. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for in someone's shoes


  1. one of a matching pair of coverings shaped to fit the foot, esp one ending below the ankle, having an upper of leather, plastic, etc, on a sole and heel of heavier leather, rubber, or synthetic material
  2. (as modifier): shoe cleaner
anything resembling a shoe in shape, function, position, etc, such as a horseshoe
a band of metal or wood on the bottom of the runner of a sledge
(in baccarat, etc) a boxlike device for holding several packs of cards and allowing the cards to be dispensed singly
a base for the supports of a superstructure of a bridge, roof, etc
a metal collector attached to an electric train that slides along the third rail and picks up power for the motor
(engineering) a lining to protect from and withstand wear See brake shoe, pile shoe
(informal) be in a person's shoes, to be in another person's situation
verb (transitive) shoes, shoeing, shod
to furnish with shoes
to fit (a horse) with horseshoes
to furnish with a hard cover, such as a metal plate, for protection against friction or bruising
Word Origin
Old English scōh; related to Old Norse skōr, Gothic skōhs, Old High German scuoh
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 in someone's shoes



Old English scoh "shoe," from Proto-Germanic *skokhaz (cf. Old Norse skor, Danish and Swedish sko, Old Frisian skoch, Old Saxon skoh, Middle Dutch scoe, Dutch schoen, Old High German scuoh, German Schuh, Gothic skoh). No known cognates outside Germanic, unless it somehow is connected with PIE root *skeu- "cover" (cf. second element in Latin ob-scurus).

Old plural form shoon lasted until 16c. Meaning "metal plate to protect a horse's hoof" is attested from late 14c. Distinction between shoe and boot (n.) is attested from c.1400. To stand in someone's shoes "see things from his or her point of view" is attested from 1767. Old shoe as a type of something worthless is attested from late 14c.

Shoes tied to the fender of a newlywed couple's car preserves the old custom (mentioned from 1540s) of throwing an old shoe at or after someone to wish them luck. Perhaps the association is with dirtiness, on the "muck is luck" theory.



Old English scogan "to shoe," from the root of shoe (n.). In reference to horses from c.1200. Related: Shoed; shoeing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for in someone's shoes


Related Terms

gumshoe, white shoe

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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Idioms and Phrases with in someone's shoes

in someone's shoes

in someone else's shoes
in someone's place or stead
. Acting for another person or experiencing something as another person might; in another's position or situation. For example,
If you were in my shoes, would you ask the new secretary for a date?
In your shoes I wouldn't accept the offer
, or
Can you go to the theater in my place?
He was speaking in her stead
. The idioms alluding to
, with their image of stepping into someone's shoes, date from about 1700 and are generally used in a conditional clause beginning with
if. Stead
, dating from the 1300s, and
, from the 1500s, are used more loosely. Also see
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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