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2017 Word of the Year

underfoot

[uhn-der-foo t] /ˌʌn dərˈfʊt/
adverb
1.
under the foot or feet; on the ground; underneath or below:
The climb was difficult because there were so many rocks underfoot.
2.
so as to form an obstruction, as in walking; in the way:
the ends of her sash falling constantly underfoot.
adjective
3.
lying under the foot or feet; in a position to be trodden upon.
Origin of underfoot
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English underfot (adv.). See under-, foot
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for underfoot
Historical Examples
  • Well, have you ever seen a shipmaster walking his own deck as if he did not know what he had underfoot?

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • There was disorder, wavering, from underfoot groans and cries.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • He even moved a chair which might get underfoot in a rough-and-tumble.

  • I answered, as I hove on the wheel and kicked rats from underfoot. '

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • Instead she did her best to get underfoot, usually in some provocative position.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • underfoot lay a short green sward which cushioned their tread.

    Shadows in the Moonlight Robert E. Howard
  • The despised but long dominant race was underfoot, and they stamped it down.

    The Vintage Edward Frederic Benson
  • Others dart from underfoot to disappear in an instant in the cover.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • underfoot were carpets and rugs of the most costly, chosen with taste.

    The White Blackbird Hudson Douglas
  • The floor of the gully was damp and silent; underfoot the ground was almost wet.

    Piper in the Woods Philip K. Dick
British Dictionary definitions for underfoot

underfoot

/ˌʌndəˈfʊt/
adverb
1.
underneath the feet; on the ground
2.
in a position of subjugation or subservience
3.
in the way
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 underfoot
adv.

c.1200, underfot "under the feet," from under + foot. Cf. Middle Dutch ondervoete. As an adj., attested from 1590s; in reference to persons, "continually in the way," it is recorded from 1891.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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